“Gossip needn’t be false to be evil – there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.” –Frank A. Clark

Essentially to gossip is to reveal the personal information of others, without their knowledge or consent. We all have certain things in our lives that we would prefer to remain private. The kind of delicate personal information we only share with our nearest and dearest, people who we feel we can trust. When someone betrays your confidence and shares your personal information, that person is referred to as a gossip.

Sometimes gossiping isn’t necessarily revealing someone’s personal information but simply indulging in discussing someone else; voicing an opinion about them and the things they do or say. Gossiping about others is often used as a way of making ourselves look better. “Did you hear Mandy lost her temper during the board meeting? She always loses her temper. I am so glad I can control my temper.” That is a perfect example. Sometimes we take it even further and fake empathy to make ourselves feel better about gossiping and to yet again promote ourselves.
“Poor Mandy, I feel so sorry for her. I wish there was some way I could help her, she’s a mess.”

Often when have been hurt or are feeling angry and upset we tend to vent our frustrations to the first willing ear. This can be a very unwise thing to do, a decision you will later regret. As the saying goes, “Be careful who you vent to, a listening ear can also be a running mouth!”
More often than not we say things we don’t mean when we are angry. Sadly a spoken word can never be unspoken. I have heard it said that a fool vents all his feelings but a wise man holds them back.

Some people believe that if you are telling the truth then it isn’t gossiping but rather relaying facts. That is a cop out. Regardless of whether what you are revealing is factual or not, discussing someone behind their back is undeniably gossiping. Falling into the gossiping trap often leads to the adding of a few extra details, intended to give dramatic flair and to make the story more enticing. Unfortunately these extra details are in actual fact untruths. Gossip and telling lies seem to go hand in hand.

There are times, when with genuine concern we relay personal information in the hopes of helping someone, regrettably this almost always goes terribly wrong. Gossiping can cause an awful lot of trouble, heartache and conflict. Broken trust is not something that is easily regained. Many friendships are lost because of gossip.

Make a concerted effort to avoid gossiping.
“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3. I believe the saying that gossip dies when it hits a wise person’s ears. “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.” 1 Peter 3:10. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into gossip.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” –
Eleanor Roosevelt.

I wrote the Patti the prawn story to highlight the dangers of gossiping and the importance of honesty. Through this entertaining story, Patti the prawn shows children that if you talk  behind people’s backs it causes a lot of trouble and hurt feelings. It also shows that if you tell lies all the time, others will no longer believe or trust you. Patti the prawn is a colourful picture book with an enjoyable, meaningful story. Take a dive into this delightful book and join Patti the prawn on her deep-sea adventure.

Get your copy of Patti the prawn from Amazon and various other leading online retailers. I would really appreciate if you would show your support by leaving a review. I hope this story will encourage children to avoid gossip and to be honest.

Please feel free to send in any book or blog related questions or feedback. If you have photos of your little ones enjoying any of my books please be so kind as to share them on my website and/or my Jacqui Shepherd Children’s Author Facebook Page.

Happy reading to all!

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