Remember in the musical Music Man when all the older women start chattering like a passel of hens? They were bent on telling the Music Man about the librarian. There was probably a little truth in what they said, but mostly it was their jealousies and need for gossip that spewed from their mouth. We laugh when we watch the scene.
Working in a retail environment since the introduction of cell phones, gossip has gone global. No longer just in the neighborhood (or church foyer), gossips have worldwide reach through cell phones, Facebook, Twitter and more. Careless chatter gone out worldwide never to be retrieved. I have blogged before about careless tongues (O Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say.) Words hurt, they scar and sometimes those scars ruin lives. It does not matter if you are talking behind someone’s back or to their face, words once out are never taken back. Like the toothpaste squeezed out, you cannot make it go back in the tube.
Working in retail you hear so much (you wish you did not have to hear) of people’s private lives as they wander around chatting on their phones. Conversations best kept private are spilled out over aisles. It seems people think they are in their own private phone booth and because no one is on the aisle with them, then no one can hear them. And of course their are those that think they have to shout their words across the phone for it to get to the other end of the line. People just like to talk. In specific they like to PICK-A-LITTLE, it makes them feel better about themselves to tear others down. Once started their TALK-A-LITTLE becomes talk-a-lot. The art of silence has gone. It is no wonder people do not “hear” what is being said any more. Their ears are in overload and you have to get their attention. Recently a father let a loud whistle in the store to get his kids to come. He looked at my stunned face as if to say “what?”. His kids don’t listen to their names or him talking, so he’s resorted to whistling for them like a dog. (Shaking my head).
Wouldn’t it be better to really PICK LITTLE to say, and TALK LITTLE, so that when you did speak others would want to hear what you say? Wouldn’t there be less hurt and less anger if people slowed down and chose their words carefully? Hmmm, that sounds like a verse from the Bible.
James 1:19 ESV “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”