Monday, November 23, 2015


A colleague of mine was recently fired from his job amongst a cloud of scandal. Shortly after this occurred, rumors were being bandied about in clipped and hushed tones in hallway conversations and water cooler gatherings. While I saw some concerned faces, more often than not, the folks who I came across who were talking about this occurrence were yuking it up in salacious tones. In my younger days, I would definitely have been found amongst the gossips throwing dry grass upon the existing flame. However, as I have gotten older, I have come to much better appreciate that I have more than a few skeletons in my own closet. If any of these ever came to light, I shudder to think how I would be treated. Failures, poor choices, and sinful acts that would definitely set tongues to wagging and fingers to pointing. It sure would be good to think that if I was found out, folks would respond to my own shortcomings with grace. I would wager that I am not the only one with darker secrets that I would not come to be found out. In fact, I can say with some certainty, that all of us could say the same thing.

Why then is our first instinct to dog pile on someone who is already down? What it is about human nature that loves to gossip and talk up the failures of others knowing that we have suffered through our own failures? Why do we find such mirth in the fall of others, even those who we would consider our friends? Even when folks don't know the full set of facts, they are more than happy to fill in the gaps with their own dark theories. It is so easy to think the worst of others and to make their failures and their fall into a fountain of jokes and crass remarks. Don't they appreciate that as folks lives are broken apart, even if it is because of their own poor choices, that they are not the only ones affected? There are families involved who have lost the income of their breadwinner. There are spouses whose mate has betrayed them. There are children who relationships with their parents could be forever affected. There are no winners in such messes and this is most certainly not a game or a show for our entertainment.