The Ugly Side of People is a short story that’s one of 22 in my new book, The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry. It’s about gossips and judgmental people, and I have never shared it here before, not even in its early stages.
We have probably all been gossiped about at some point in our lives, and as well, we have most likely gossiped about others. While some gossip can be idle and harmless (but still not nice), some is not. It can most assuredly be hurtful and intentional. Gossip can lead to bullying and worse. It’s a good reminder for all of us to heed what the Bible says in Ephesians 4:31: Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
This story evolved after I witnessed something happen many years ago when I overheard gossip about a person some folks knew little about–or had any understanding of the situation the person was going through, for that matter. They say you shouldn’t judge people when you have not walked in their shoes, for how can you ever really know what goes on behind closed doors? How can you ever really know what someone is going through, especially when they keep it to himself? Watching this situation unfold as it did, and profoundly seeing the harmful effects of gossip for the first time, prompted me to write a story about a girl who has lost her husband and the town gossip has taken over.
It’s a good reminder for all of us–this writer included–to watch our tongues and be cognizant of our hearts.
It all comes down to being kind, really, and the story reminds me of Maya Angelou’s wonderful quote she said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”