Our interest in our world is undoubtedly influenced by our upbringing, family background, friends, education and our experiences as we journey through life.
But what about the influence of our indulgence to engage in a bit of intoxicating grapevine – be it listening or sharing?
Despite the controversial belief that gossip might help you to be updated about reality, opportunities and give you an insight into “current scenario”, the question is – Is it worth affecting our state of happiness and contentment?
It is heady, mischievous and irresistible! A tempting cocktail that helps you waste your precious time and create an undesirable state of anxiety that we can do without.
For eg: whether we may be conscious or not, even our reading material and what we view on television or the internet affects our state of mind and level of contentment with our existence. Magazines that offer little in terms of enlightenment but heavy in the dose of gossip are hardly the reading material that provides an informative and useful window to the world we live in. Similarly the weekly soap operas on T.V offer foamy bubbles but little wisdom in their regular supply of stories steeped in pessimism, conflict and betrayal.
The emotional well being of young children are also affected by the chaos that they view on the screen. In one case, the regular supply of a soapy pulpy T.V series played such a havoc on the emotional state on a child that she suffered from a mysterious tummy pain during the time this serial was aired on T.V. Despite several visits to doctors, the child continued to complain of tummy pain during each episode.
The wise and observant doctor’s suggestion to the parents was simple – refrain the child from viewing the series and then observe any changes to the child’s tummy pain.
To the surprise and delight of the parents, the tummy aches disappeared forever with the abrupt end of the family’s viewing of this conflict ridden, tragic, violent and suspense ridden dramatic soap opera.
Humans basically enjoy observing, learning, excelling and developing themselves and consciously and unconsciously we are inspired by other people and experiences.
By refraining from petty, negative and destructive gossip what do you gain?
1) You will notice that you are surrounding yourself with positive people around you. People prone to vicious gossip and related negative thinking would hardly want to associate with you since you have little interest or passion in their favourite past time.
2) You will snuff out the tendency to feel self important. It is far easier to observe the world with humility when you refuse to indulge in vicious torrid discussions about others. Gossip aficionados often enjoy a powerful belief in their superiority and importance.
3) You will become involved with meaningful and positive activities. The time that you would have wasted on talking about mean and nasty stories about others would be positively utilized when you take up more meaningful activities, eg: take up a new hobby or enroll for a professional course that would help you in your career or personal growth or you may enjoy helping someone grow my mentoring them.
4) You would consciously eventually eliminate the green eyed monster that threatens to unexpectedly affect your peace of mind
From my experience, I realized that the less I involve myself in gossip, the more happier I feel for others and their growth. Since making this observation, I discreetly steer clear of negative or jealousy prone individuals. I keep my association or communication with them to a formal and required degree, eg: due to professional or unavoidable personal reasons.
5) You will be a happier person – positive, serene and having a pleasant disposition
With the abandonment of gossip, you will experience joy and positive feelings to a greater level than before.
6) You will begin the process of enhancing the quality of your life, through improved personal and professional relationships and better comprehension of human behavior.
Since your desire to judge will be low, your level of understanding of people would be based on their background and other environmental factors and with tolerance. This would also enable you to value your relations with those around you – never mind the “importance” they may have in your life.
7) You would have better respect for authorized biographies and the learning would be based on respect and sense of insight. Authorized biographies convey not just a person’s honest canvas of life but the errors of judgement and tragedies that shaped the personality. The unauthorized ones may begin to lose the appeal they once held for you as you know that they merely represent sensationalism and that their emphasis is on unadulterated gossip.
8) You will be considered as someone worthy to be trusted.
We may view those who are generous in their negative discussion of others with an unavoidable element of skepticism. What truly stops them from discussing about us tomorrow to others in their desire to spread delicious gossip around them? You would also think twice about narrating your sorrows to such individuals as you are providing perfect fodder for their ritual of gossip.
By refusing to indulge in gossip or discouraging gossip around you, you are enhancing your own trustworthiness not just in the eyes of others but more importantly in your own belief about who you are.
From the many wonderful people I have come across and been fortunate to associate with, I’ve noticed that the enlightened ones enjoy indulging in topics pertaining to our life, its mysterious questions and its philosophy. Many others enjoy discussion of politics or current world events that affect our life. And then there are some who focus and relish joyous news of others’ success and achievement and spread it with almost child like glee!
On a regular basis, they enjoy listening and sharing positive information that others share with them – on the achievements and milestones and happy events of people and their family members.
They experience an acute state of happiness and a whiff of inspiration when they hear or read achievements of others. They also believe that sharing positive news of this nature inspires others to aspire for greater heights in future.
By being consciously part of a positive existence and lifestyle, the possibilities of enjoying a tranquil state of complete emotional and physical well being are infinite.