Gossiping about someone without giving them a chance to color the evidence is cowardly, harmful, and wrong. Gossip is born in mind, passes the lips like a subtle hiss, and brings down the greater good to the lowest common denominator. It commonly serves as a tool to make oneself feel superior to someone else. I've rarely heard accurate information transmitted regarding a person who was not present to hear it communicated. This same mistake broadly applies to religion, science, politics, management/HR, family, homelessness, race, gender, income levels, etc.
Bobby Fischer, the 11th World Chess Champion that many esteem as the best that's ever been (probably a higher percentile of Americans subscribe to this notion than abroad), taught a lesson on chess that I absorbed as a life truth. He said it is paramount to look at every square on the board that every piece can move before committing oneself to a move. Sounds like great advice for life in general, right? Silence and circumspection should attend every important decision that one makes before pulling the trigger. This training readies us for real life when we might not have time to flesh out all the possibilities.
When we are in training or otherwise have time, here’s what has helped me through the years. I call it T-3, and in certain circles, it is an axiom or Slogan. "Think, THINK, Think" has for me become a lifestyle, akin to Bobby Fischer's' prescription for winning chess. 1-T) Think. I briefly consider the matter at hand, then separate myself quickly from it to suspend my judgment, then return to it with objectivity. 2-T) On important issues, I consider every aspect of it as deeply as I am capable, analyzing the interplay of ideas, moves, and relational outcomes consummate to the task at hand. Then after holding on to the possibilities that seem most promising and dismissing the chaff, I select the strongest sequence of moves available, and then I WALK AWAY or daydream about anything other than the plan. Then, 3-T) Returning to the decision I made after the thorough consideration, I reconsider my options confidently but without conceit, looking for things I might have missed.
In tournament chess, the hard and fast rules are, "Touch Move, Touch Take." If you touch the piece, then you must move it or take it. Touching is a total commitment; just like speaking is not easily unspoken, one should weigh it out carefully before committing to it.
Then comes the clincher for clarity. I free my mind of everything I think I know, then reach for the piece to move, and deliberately 'almost' touch the piece several times. With the spirit of humility and gentleness rather than fear or agenda, I wait for my intuition to reveal what my logical mind missed. I can't begin to count the number of times the intuitive mind shows me what I missed in my 'Think, THINK, Think' processing. Emily Dickenson said, “Dwell in possibility.” How can we gossip about a thing that doesn’t feed our ego or anger? Gossiping is a strange form of lazy supremacy. Rise above it, and you’re bound to taste the sweetness & peace you’ve been desiring.