Rumor

Slowpoke Farmers Are Scarce When There Is Combining To Get Done

Ed, my neighbor next door, has been moving at tornado speed to get his combining done. At harvest time, he claims farmers do the speeding bullet thing because no one can afford to be a slowpoke. It is the time of year when things need to move as fast as possible. Which I understand, but I warned Ed that accidents tend to happen when folks are rushing, or they are extremely tired. A steady and a safe pace is the best policy even at harvest time. My neighbor ignored my warning. I felt like I was talking to a runner in a race who has no intention of slowing down till he reaches the finish line.

There are those situations when we feel there is no controlling our time. We act because we are convinced it is now or never.

Harvest time naturally stresses farmers to hurry up and get the crop in the bin while they can. That also seems to happen when it comes to rumor and gossip because there is a pressure to pass them along. We catch a fever to pass them along as fast as we can. There is no stopping the speed and power of a tornado, or the speed and force of a rumor. It is hard to hear gossip or rumors and store them away and forget them. They tend to infect us and even if we are determined not to spread them they often break out of us. We seldom put into isolation the rumors or gossip that make us contagious. Gossip and rumors may seem to be harmless or entertaining, but they are more like the ‘Ebola’ virus. They are epidemic because they lack the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Sadly, folks do not want to settle for the whole truth, but often prefer to hear or share half truths or lies. The truth is often very ordinary and may not be particularly interesting. Truth is not elastic stretched in whatever direction one decides to twist it. Some folks may exaggerate the results of their fishing experience or our golf game to impress others. When we tell or spread a rumor or share gossip, we like to think we are just sharing the story that is in general circulation. We seldom consider that we may be part of murdering someone’s reputation. We all know that often the motive behind a rumor or piece of gossip is jealousy, dislike or even, the intent, to hurt the subject of the rumor.

It isn’t just the rumors we speak, but we may not defend others, speak up and protect them from false accusations or rumors. Isn’t it easier to pass along a rumor than to put the best meaning on our neighbor’s actions and speak well of him and his good qualities? When gossip or rumors are circulating, they do so because the person is not there to defend himself or herself. God calls us to talk to each other face to face. Gossip and rumors flourish behind peoples’ back. Jesus experienced the maliciousness of rumor, slander and gossip directed at him here on earth. Beware, as no one escapes the infection of the virus of gossip.

 

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Raymond Maher
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