Spreading Good Defeats Gossip

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington and Mimi, a high school student

A teenager shares how she helped others stop gossiping and start spreading good news about each other, which made everyone feel better.

At my old public school, a lot of kids liked to gossip about anything they knew about anyone. I knew a lot of the kids there, so my friends would ask me questions about people. I would try to ignore them and change the subject, but that wouldn't work sometimes. The way it worked is that if you didn't want to be gossiped about, you had to tell them things. I found that if I told them a little thing, such as someone liking ice cream, they would make a big deal out of it and tell other people that the person who liked ice cream would get fat.

I didn't want them to gossip anymore, so I decided to tell those who liked to gossip only the good things about other people. They started seeing the good things, too. Slowly, their conversations turned into talking about how good people were and how sweet, funny, and awesome people were. This happened in my group of friends, and some of the group members started it in other groups.

People who had been gossiped about sometimes heard what people were saying, and it made them feel bad. But when they heard people saying good things about them, they felt happy. They didn't feel like they were freaks any more, and they didn't feel as if they needed to hide as much. I was happy to know that people felt happy instead of sad because the talk changed from gossiping to pointing out the good.

Mimi, a high school student

Editor's Note:

Mimi gave a great gift to many, many people. The gracious attitude that filled her heart made others feel happy. Of course, when we're filled with love, we can't help but feel the blessings that God is pouring down on all of us.

Here's a neat paraphrase of the second Isaiah writer that shows us the beauty and blessings of a generous spirit, which is so vital at this time of year:

[A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places] "If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people's sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again." (The Message, Isa 58:9-12)

Enjoy finding the good in others at this Thanksgiving season and throughout the whole year.