We’re bringing this poll back for round 2! Today Elizabeth Scalia writes another installment of our Practicing Mercy series, delving a little deeper into the negative affects that gossip can produce in ourselves and our community:
The hiss and then the flick – they are twin components of gossip: the hiss gets attention, and the flick releases a toxic venom that usually resides within us; its release makes us feel so much better for an instant, at least, because in the moment of the flick, we connect to the people who agree with us. It’s a funny thing about that venom, though. If its deployment is discovered, its toxicity seems to deepen; its wounds become spread out, and lasting. But even if the object of our pssting never knows that we struck, somehow, the poison redounds back upon us, anyway, and shrivels our souls just a little more, because gossip – slithery sin that it is – slinks its way through the deadly sins, and pride, and wrath, and envy stick to it (and perhaps, sometimes, even the other four, as well), and then we’re carrying an awful lot of spiritual sickness with us.
Do you fall prey to the temptation to “hiss and flick?”
***Scalia’s previous piece on gossip.***
In Elizabeth Scalia’s piece, Gossip: “The Devil’s Radio”, she tells about how preconceived notions can be shattered by a face-to-face encounter with the truth. Upon meeting someone who had long been a mere opponent in “tart” social media exchanges, it seemed the ability for future snarking was waylaid. She writes, “…once you encounter a person, all the easy animosities and the willingness to gossip lose their tang of righteousness and dark joy.” It is human nature to want to know a secret, or something remarkable that is little known. We look for sensational headlines, we buy tabloids, and we watch TMZ, because “insider” knowledge is makes us feel either part of something or superior to it. Before you start wondering who the people Scalia wrote about were, as we gossipers will, perhaps we should ask ourselves: