Monday, March 07, 2011

Gossip-- it's hard to clean up

Bear with me-- this post is kind of all over the place.

Someone said something at church this week that has got me thinking. She said something along the lines of, "We are so blessed to be in the gospel where so many of our decisions are already made for us. We have it so easy." Say what? I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever seen it that way. Ever. And I don't think the Church intends it to be that way either. The Church wants us to think for ourselves and then CHOOSE to live a virtuous, honest, good life. I don't like to have decisions made for me. I never have. It's no secret that growing up I was in trouble a lot. I'm not sure why. I think it's just in the way I'm wired. I tend to rebel against being told "no." And then I was raised LDS (aka "Mormon") which is kinda like "Haha! Joke's on you Tori!!"  I was told we "didn't do" certain things because "it's wrong."  After the age of probably 12 the whole "You're making Jesus sad" thing didn't work for me.  If I was told not to do it, I did it. Ok, not EVERYTHING. In most aspects, I was a "typical teenager." But as an LDS teenager I was a hellion. But what's funny is so many of the things I "did" I didn't really do. People talked about me. My parents thought they "knew" everything I did. I still remember the rumor that "Tori did it on a heater in a trailer."  That was a funny rumor considering I only kissed that boy. But that rumor went thru the school so rampantly that even my friend's mom heard it and said something to her about "...Tori doing it on a TV..." My friend and I still use the code "watched TV" for $ex 20 years later because of her mom. It wasn't true, but even at that age I didn't give a crap if people wanted to spread stupid rumors because quite simply- THEY WEREN'T TRUE. Period. If people wanted to think I did it on a heater, um, ok? I'm not sure how that would work or how comfortable that would be, but whatever. I knew I just kissed the boy and that was all that mattered. It wasn't my job to tell people to stop being losers and believing lies and passing on garbage. People who were really my friends asked me straight up if it was true or already knew it wasn't. I've always felt that way. I don't even know all the things people or my family think I did. For the most part, I am willing to bet it wasn't true. For most of high school I worked 30 hours a week, went to school (kinda) and played basketball. Not a lot of time left for anything else... When I wasn't in school or playing bball I worked 40 hours a week. I was messed up in the head (still am) for a lot of different reasons that will probably never be addressed. I'm sure everyone thought my actions were because of the drugs I was using. Too bad I wasn't using drugs.

Anyway, that's not really the point of this post. I've just been thinking about how judgemental people can be and how rumors get spread so quickly. A kid I know is being judged and talked about right this minute. I can put his name in the search engine on Facebook and click "posts by everyone" and a post is added every few minutes about this kid. One post even said this kid was Canadian. I'm positive he is not. Where that came from I'm not sure?!  The percentage of correct information I've read about him is probably right about 20%. That's a lot of wrong information floating around. And not just about HIM, but about the situation in general. It's really made me more aware of what comes out of my mouth. I'm not a big gossiper anyway and really for the most part I'm a positive person who likes to assume the best or give people the benefit of the doubt. I don't like people to be hurt or sad or to feel hated. I've been there. I guess you could say I brought the gossip and judgement upon myself with my actions, but really, did I? When is it ok to judge? When is it ok to exaggerate stories or flat out lie? Obviously we need to use smart judgment when it comes to making friends or deciding if you want your children going over to a certain house, etc... It's necessary in everyday life. But at what point does the judging become being judgemental? And is gossip ever ok?

“While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; … He holds the reins of judgment in His hands; He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, … ‘not according to what they have not, but according to what they have,’ those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will be judged by that law.”

- Joseph Smith