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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gossip/Rumors (either or both) (10/28/10)

TITLE: Black, White, or Gray
By Jenny Litfin-Fulton
10/31/10


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Let’s face it. Everyone, regardless of their current situation and/or station in life, gets bored. Seeking some form of relief from our mundane existence, at least some, if not most of us, have turned at some point to the deliciousness of drama in other people’s lives. Whether or not there is any factual basis to that drama is irrelevant. It begins nearly as soon as we can talk and continues until… well…?


~Pre-School~
“And the, the spider I saw was THIS big,” the small boy stretches out his arms out as wide as he can.

At this age, we generally begin the rumors ourselves – speaking from what we honestly believe is the case. That, or our memory spans are so short we fill in the blanks with whatever we think of at the time.


~Elementary School~
As the scope of our acquaintances expands, so too do our opportunities for gossip. Most of us are still pretty naïve and innocent when we begin to get into this flow. We’re simply passing along information – someone told us this and they must be telling the truth, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to take long before we realize that information is power. It gives us a platform to be heard, a reason for people to be around us and talk to us. It can also be a great source of entertainment.

“Guess what? I know who has a crush on you!”

“Who? Who?”

The power is mine.

And then arrives the day when this power begins to lose its appeal. We accidently hear someone talking about us when they think we’re not around. We forget that we had promised NOT to pass on that particular bit of news and end up losing a good friend. We intentionally pass along some insulting or sensitive tidbits and turn around to see a completely devastated look on the subject of our conversation. We’ve messed up – majorly. Surely this is all a phase, right? Something we’ll grow out of because we’ve definitely learned our lesson…


~Middle/High School~
Now that we’ve come to the conclusion that rumors and gossip are bad and have become more accustomed to keeping our mouths shut, we are faced with another complication. Bad things are happening around us. We’re told that if we know something that could hurt someone, we need to inform an adult. But what if we don’t KNOW, we’ve only HEARD. To what extent does our responsibility extend?

There is also the matter of increasing crushes and relationships. It’s extraordinarily more entertaining to think and talk about the latest hook-ups and break-ups than to discuss the latest homework. The gleam comes back into our eyes as we ruminate on the unknowns of our classmates and teachers…


~College – A Christian College for Fun~
Accountability and purity is huge! It is so huge that the ten foot rule comes unofficially into being. Any two people of the opposite gender in a vicinity of less than ten feet apart MUST be secretly in love and on their way to the alter.


~The Workplace~
We’re grown up now – adults. Those petty mistakes that got us into so much trouble when we were young, we’re past that now. We know better.

And then the job becomes more stressful. Our co-workers and administrators don’t know what they’re doing and are driving us to the brink of insanity. We just need to vent our frustrations! It’s not good to keep it all bottled up, right?

“He can never admit when he’s wrong! I bet that’s the reason he’s never been able to stay in a serious relationship!”

“She just walks around like she’s all that! Does she ever work?”

Sometimes, our lives have just become, too ordinary, so…

“Have you seen how often they’re together…?”

“You don’t think…?”

“Oh yeah! Definitely.”


~Black, White, or Gray~
Why is that we never seem to be able to truly stop? Where is the line between expressing genuine concern and frustration, and simply gossiping and spreading rumors? I know that Proverbs speaks about gossip tasting sweat when it first comes, and then turning bitter. I know that it speaks about giving those who spread gossip something to do so they won’t have time to do so. I know it talks about loving and speaking good, pure, and true words. Somehow, though, with all this knowing, I have yet to gain a complete mastery over this temptation. May God give us all more strength and wisdom in this area.


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This article has been read 339 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon11/04/10
Gossip is all part of a game we play and some never learn how to turn it off. Gossip flows like water. Thanks for sharing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/05/10
I really enjoyed the format you used. It was very interesting to read and you gave outstanding examples.
Tiny red ink you used sweat instead of sweet:)
Other than that little error you presented an informational and quite entertaining piece. Great writing !!
Brenda Rice 11/07/10
I liked the voice of your article and found it easy to read. It was also interesting and gave good information. Good writing.
Jan Ackerson 11/09/10
I really liked the structure of this essay.

Only one tiny nitpick: Be careful of the difference between alter/altar.

This is well thought out and well-written.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/11/10
Congratulations for placing 7th in level 2!