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THE ISSUE OF GOSSIP.pdf

THE ISSUE OF GOSSIP.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY J. R. MILLER




THERE are some things we
would better not know.
Or, if we do know them,
we would better be as
though we did not know
them. We should never
pry into other people's matters. We should
respect every other man's individuality. Some
people are always seeking to know others'
private affairs. It is the worst kind of im-
pertinence to try to do this. But sometimes
there are things told to us voluntarily in con-
fidence, and of these we may not speak. To
some people, however, a secret is a heavy
burden. They go about "dying to tell," and
yet they dare not tell. In some cases, how-
ever, keeping the secret proves impossible and
the thing is told — told, of course, as a secret,
only to certain trusted persons.
BY J. R. MILLER




THERE are some things we
would better not know.
Or, if we do know them,
we would better be as
though we did not know
them. We should never
pry into other people's matters. We should
respect every other man's individuality. Some
people are always seeking to know others'
private affairs. It is the worst kind of im-
pertinence to try to do this. But sometimes
there are things told to us voluntarily in con-
fidence, and of these we may not speak. To
some people, however, a secret is a heavy
burden. They go about "dying to tell," and
yet they dare not tell. In some cases, how-
ever, keeping the secret proves impossible and
the thing is told — told, of course, as a secret,
only to certain trusted persons.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 29, 2013
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THE ISSUE OF GOSSIPBY J. R. MILLER THERE are some things wewould better not know.Or, if we do know them,we would better be asthough we did not knowthem. We should neverpry into other people's matters. We shouldrespect every other man's individuality. Somepeople are always seeking to know others'private affairs. It is the worst kind of im-pertinence to try to do this. But sometimesthere are things told to us voluntarily in con-fidence, and of these we may not speak. Tosome people, however, a secret is a heavyburden. They go about "dying to tell," andyet they dare not tell. In some cases, how-ever, keeping the secret proves impossible andthe thing is told — told, of course, as a secret,only to certain trusted persons. But confi-dence has been violated, and the bearer of [253]ftnDtng ti^e ^a^the burden has failed of entire loyalty andhonor.It would have been a great deal better if thisbetrayer of another's confidence had regarded
 
himself as not knowing the thing which bythe grace of his friend he had come to know.It would have been better still, of course, if he really never had learned it. He had noright to hear it. He heard it only throughthe weakness of another. It is an unkindnessto many people to ask them to be the cus-todians of secrets which they are not allowedto divulge. It is placing them in a positionin which they cannot but suffer. It is sub- jecting them to a temptation which it is veryhard for them to resist. We have no rightto lay such a burden on any friend. Besides,if what we tell is something which ought notto be told, we have no right to tell it even toone person.But when another has been weak and has toldus something which we are charged to repeatto no other being in the world, what is ourduty.f^ We may say, "Well, if my friend can[254]m 9lf ^e m^ i^ottrust me with this matter, there can be noharm in my trusting another friend with it."But the failure of another to be true to him-self and perfectly honorable will never ex-cuse us for failing in the same way. Ourduty can be nothing less than the most sacredkeeping of the secret confided to us. It isnot ours to divulge to anyone. We shouldconsider ourselves as not having heard itat all.
 
Of course, we cannot w^ork any sort of magicon ourselves by which the bit of knowledgecommunicated to us shall be literally takenout of our memory and be as a lost word tous thenceforward. Some people seem to havememories out of which knowledge once pos-sessed does vanish so completely that it can-not be found again. But usually it is notgreat secrets which have been whispered intothe ear with solemn adjurations, which getlost out of memory. The things people for-get most easily are likely to be things of value, important facts, useful information,things they ought to remember. It should[255]fdttiing ti^e Waigbe possible, however, to forget in the sameway matters which we do not need to remem-ber, which it is better we do not remember.We should train ourselves to forget people'sfaults. We are told that God does not re-member the sins of his people. His forgive-ness obliterates even the memory of the evilthings we have done. Of course there is asense in which God cannot forget, but themeaning is that he remembers as if he remem-bered not. We do not usually forget ourbrother's faults and follies. Nor are theybefore our minds as if they were not. Onthe other hand, they are likely to be keptvery much in evidence. One of the Beati-tudes is, "Blessed are the merciful, for theyshall obtain mercy." If we remember thewrong things we see in others how can we

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