Here is a picture of me with smokey bear. For those of you who do not know,smokey is a character used to teach children fire safety. His motto is “only you can prevent wildfires” think of a wildfire,  it spreads so quickly, often destroying people’s homes and lives. Even the best technology cannot often keep up with them. By the time they burn out it can take years to recover.

Do you know what else spreads like a wildfire? Often costing people jobs,homes and sometimes the very lives?  That takes years to recover from? Where technology cannot only not keep up with it,  but often helps it spread? In a word – gossip -.  On the surface gossip may not seem all that harmful. In fact, it is quite easy to agree with someone when they say another person is crazy. Especially if you think that person could benefit from some couch time. However. Quite often we may not have all the facts. We may not know their story and what makes them act as they do. You also never know how hearing what people are saying about them may affect them.  Perhaps they will quit their job because they now feel uncomfortable. Maybe they will feel betrayed and less confident. Worse case, they may lose all hope and end their lives. You may not think agreeing with something bad that is said about someone could do all that, but remember a wildfire. It can spread, grow  and turn into something with far more force than it started out as. So next time you are tempted to gossip yourself or even agree to others gossip,  remember the words of smokey bear – “only you can prevent wildfires”

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