We all know that rumors can be hurtful, really hurtful. They seem to come along with death. You can’t do anything to stop them either, or correct them. The funny thing, I’ve discovered, is it is easier for me to forgive the person who started the rumor, now that I know who it is, than to forgive those who chose to believe it and even worse, pass it on. I can actually understand the emotions, grief and loss of the person who told the tale. The listener, however, has the larger responsibility to be discerning, to question, to go to the source and ask directly before passing it on. Otherwise, the only motivation is the thrill, the power of being in the know. We hate sensationalism in the media but we indulge in it when we pass a rumor on.
So I am working on the forgiveness part. I have opened the door. The opening goes both ways though and it is always a choice for someone to walk through the door or not. I guess that’s why I always tell people not to send me political propaganda. I don’t want to waste my time with anything that hasn’t been fact checked. I want to be a discerning listener – as well as a forgiving person.