Which one are you?
Back in the day, “Ma Bell” and landlines were the only way to communicate at a distance. I remember when my mom would talk on the phone for hours. Really! Hours!
At the time, I was young, and I wasn’t interested in what she was talking about or to whom. I took that time to gain a little more freedom, by staying outside after the street lights came on. Or, staying up a little later on a school night.
My mom would lose track of time being so immersed in her phone conversation, that she didn’t check on me since the phone was attached to the wall. She would have had to interrupt her conversation, lay the phone down, and search for me.
When I became an adult, I unconsciously mimicked my mother. I would stay on the phone for what seemed like hours. Once I was off the phone I realized how much time I had wasted. And half of my conversation I couldn’t even remember!
I was very ashamed of myself. Sometimes I would talk if someone called me during dinnertime, I threw my family off of their meal schedule, talking about nothing that I could remember of importance.
A couple of my regular phone buddies loved to gossip. Once I realized what was going on, I intentionally remained neutral. I would not add fuel to the fire, and I learned how to redirect the conversation, by changing the subject to something general.
Eventually, I learned how to end the conversation without offending them. I allowed caller ID and my answering machine to work for me. Then when voicemail replaced my answering machine, I felt I was “off the hook,” (no pun intended).
As I matured, realizing I was a wife and mother, I reflected on the type of person I had become. It was time for me to put away childish things. And gossiping was not something I felt comfortable doing. Just listening to it, I was just as guilty. I realized that wasn’t part of my nature.
Plus, I don’t lie well. It’s nothing worse than trying to back peddle out of a lie when confronted. Actually, I never had to do it. But, I confronted others during my younger years about something that was said about me.
This may seem elementary and cliche, but it works. The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Empathy. Plain and simple.
Plus, I was raising a child whom I didn’t want to pick-up any bad behaviors I had the power to change.
One morning, I had the radio on as I was getting ready for work. The DJ would always quote words of wisdom for his closing thoughts at the end of his segment.
That particular morning, he quoted some words by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Little people talk about others. Average people talk about things. Brilliant people speak of ideas.”
I’ve always held this quote close to my heart. And I’ve often thought about what it truly means to me.
The lesson I’ve learned: Small-minded people can’t think beyond gossiping about other people, or even “thing outside the box.” They always follow the leader with the inability to think independently or make decisions for themselves.
Every day- or average-minded people talk about general/neutral things (conversations without bias or controversy, ie., weather, fashion, cars, etc.).
And those brilliant-minded thinkers/innovators who imagine or are actually doing the next big thing; positive things in their life and/or the life of others, or even for the world.
Which one are you? Think about it.