I have not written in quite some time. It is difficult to write when a person teaches writing daily — and as a result is required to read the works of the students she teaches. Despite this, to my Lord & Savior, I apologize. It is true, should you not use your gift, it will vanish. However, this will not happen to me — enough said.
This note’s topic is titled, “Side-Tracked by Gossip.” I am not an Angel. I am no longer a perfectionist. But I do not like for any of us to repeat mistakes. For I paraphrase, only a fool is doomed by repeating his mistakes.
As a child, I remember adults referencing gossip among my friends was bad. I would often hear them denounce gossip, regardless of their usage of it. But I didn’t “really” hear them gossip because in those days, children were relegated to a bedroom — to stay out of grown folks business — while the adults remained in a family room, living room, or the sort. And not only was gossip deemed as something immoral, whenever I would hear an adult use the word gossip, there was always a negative undertone in their voice, in the inflection. The point is, we knew gossiping was not good.
Additionally, society approved the sentiments. Gossip was wrong. Mind you, this is during the 1980′s. Family programming would often support the notion of gossiping being sinful. Family sitcoms often acted out story lines of how gossiping created problems for the television children and sometimes other characters.
Oh, but today — programming today is built on gossip. Must I name a few, because I cannot? It was a slow and sudden build. “Entertainment Tonight” was the gossip channel.
Then MTV delved further, BET further, The Tonight Show interviews became more incessant until today there are too many to name. And it gets worse — 2010 shows reports of thousands to possibly millions of bloggers who dedicate themselves to and have livelihoods from gossip. And the commercial news networks are the absolute worse they have ever been! News is not news anymore. As one of my many student writers wrote recently, “Today we want our news microwaved: instant, without substance, and nasty.” – Dwayne Toomer.
Forget Houston. World, we have a BIG problem.
My spirit says, “No!” My heart says, “No More!” The murky, dismal, debris which Bishop Eddie Long has found himself is my last straw. I truly hate that I know about his personal life. I am brought to tears while writing this because my people do not know the ills our society has entangled us in. We know better — we must do better. This Bishop Long saga is placed in our lives as smoke screen for what is TRULY important. I did not watch him make his statement this morning…but my ears overheard an important point he made…as I quietly read in another room. Paraphrased, he stated something about, “The election in Georgia is important.” I assume his message is for us to focus on this. Simply put, he is right!
How convenient it is for a prominent African American Bishop to be scandalized during an important moment in American political history, in a state when this mid-term election is of primary importance for Georgians?
Do not get side-tracked by gossip. It matters not if the gossip is international, nation-wide, region-wide, local community, in your school, in your workplace, among your friends, within your family, or inside your mind. Gossip is fruitless, without substance, absent of importance, minus relevance; in another single word, gossip is insignificant. Today’s world needs all of the nutritional value it can receive.
Albany resident Talia Ashley is an English instructor at Darton College, founder of Hip Hop Grows Up Inc., and advisory board member at YUMU42.