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Healthy Habits; by Jennifer Wimmer

If you’ve been reading my column over the last few years, you know that I don’t always write about foods and supplements. There is a lot more to living healthy other than what you put into your body.

How about what comes out of your mouth?

Gossiping is bullying, and it’s unhealthy. It often causes undue shaming and labeling, and many times it is not true or only partly true.

I remember our teacher in kindergarten, Ms. Pullen, had us all sit in a line on the floor. It was a brilliant lesson in what happens with hearsay, and how the original message gets distorted, exaggerated, or even completely falsified as it gets passed along.

She had the first child read a message on a piece of paper to themselves, and then whisper it into the next child’s ear. After it was whispered all the way down the line, the last child was to tell the whole class the message. When they did, it was nothing like the original message.

Shaming, stigmatizing, condemning and labeling a person through gossip, can greatly hamper their ability to move forward in life and do better.

The ones who engage in it regularly do so, because they are addicted to it. They want to be popular by “knowing something” that someone else doesn’t know.

They get a rush from whispering the information, and getting the shocked reaction and attention. They embellish on a half-truth, or completely make it up when they don’t have any “information” so that they don’t lose their position in the group; and they do this at the expense of another.

This is the “chain of pain” cycle of bullying.

How can anyone heal and do better in that environment?  Sadly, it has caused some to lose hope and feel so alone that they’ve taken their own lives.

Bullying via slanderous gossip can make what a person is already going through a million times worse. That feeling of being talked about is so thick in the air, and doesn’t go unnoticed or unfelt by the person who it’s aimed at.

We need to be compassionate toward others, and realize that we just don’t know everything. We don’t know the whole story. We don’t know what others have suffered from, or what they’re dealing with at home or in their minds from past traumas.

What we do know is that we should help others.

We should uplift and encourage others. When they are down, we should ask if they need our help, not turn and talk about them behind their back.

Be Well and God Bless You.

Jennifer Wimmer

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