Puppy owners know all too well the dreadful nightmare: when our beloved canine friend has the throw pillow clenched tightly between his incisors, ready to tear into it and send feathers flying everywhere in a fraction of a second. Of course we want to stop the travesty before it occurs, but sometimes we are too late, and the pillow is damaged beyond repair.
Jealousy often leads to corrosive, hateful, and regrettable words.
I remember the frustration of the college application season during senior year of high school. When classmates were accepted into various Ivy League schools that many students aspired to attend, rage and jealousy sparked like wildfire. Rumors about parents' jobs and family lineages, and whispers of "affirmative action" and "D1 sports offer", stormed the senior hallway. Whether or not these assertions were true, they completely and unfairly discredited these students' hard work and talent. It is true the college admissions process is a gamble; however, no one can ever be certain of what another peer's life or application is like. The accepted students faced a great deal of discomfort and questioned their self-worth, instead of being elated about an important life achievement.
Rumors and gossip can be dangerous. Through social media, news can spread within minutes, even before school begins the following day. Misleading facts disseminate too rapidly to be controlled, and too many people believe false information. Ugly words can damage reputations and images, and exist only to empower those who began the gossip. Gossipers desperately need to soothe their anger and jealousy over not receiving their own acceptance, and believe that bringing others down will subdue their internal pain. In the end, all parties involved are still hurt.
Gossip is an addictive habit that anyone can fall victim to, even the kindest of people. Possessing generally unknown information places us at the center of attention, allowing us to thrive off of it and, unbeknownst to us, cause great damage. Once we cause this damage, it is usually impossible to completely rectify the situation. After all, we cannot erase memories or thoughts. Instead, it is important to reflect before we share -- before we tear open the pillow.