Let’s talk about gossip. I heard a quote quite some years ago “if someone gossips to you, they will gossip about you”.
Gossip usually results from assumptions, with perhaps a few half truths thrown in.
A friend I met some years ago, had a favourite quote : “to assume is to make an ass of u and me”. Every time I want to take the easy way out, and assume something, or believe something told to me by someone else as fact, without first analysing the source, I remember this quote. It has saved me from making some poor decisions (Thanks Rach!).
I try to teach my kids the same thing. To think for themselves; to use critical thinking. It is difficult for children, preteens, and teens, to navigate personal relationships when they are trying to fit in, whilst also figuring out who they are.
An example I will share with you. My 10 year old pointed out another young girl to me, and told me ‘she is so annoying’. I questioned my daughter on it, trying to get her to draw her own conclusions. From this, she concluded that she did not actually know this girl, but that she had accepted other friends’ opinions. Some time later, she encountered this young girl, away from her other friends, and found her to be a lovely girl.
Picture a child, lacking any role models to lean on, bounce ideas off, or even trust to help them. This child will become entirely self-reliant. Learning to independently solve any problems, and take care of any tasks or issues that arise, to the best of their ability.
Or does it sound lonely? An exhausting life, always on the alert. Not able to relax into the security of knowing that someone will catch you if you fall.
Trust is so important. It’s important to have someone to trust, and to be trusted in return. What is a relationship without trust? Whether a romantic relationship; a friendship; parent and child; employer and employee. We all want to know that the other party is just as trustworthy as we are. That we can rely on each other appropriate to our roles.
Trust gives us security, a sense of belonging, a moment to relax. Knowing the other party will uphold the relationship with the same respect we do. Not because of what they say, but what they do.
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”– J.M Barrie, Peter Pan
If only this were completely true. If we could all have faith and trust in every other person, and then in us. It truly would be a world of pixie dust! My kids like to play ‘magic’, and pretend. I’ve been turned into a mermaid more times than I can count! They often fix, or find things using magic. Sometimes, if they are playing spies, magic will be used to help solve the crime. They have wonderful imaginations. Perhaps, for children the world really is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust. It is only once we are introduced into the adult world that we lose this innocent view of the world around us. Can you remember living in this magical world? What do you miss most, or what do you think would be different if we were all like Peter Pan?