Breathing beyond the tabloids: Angelina Jolie…no gossip… no judgment

I’m wondering….what is the price of gossip?

Ronnie over at WorkCoach sent me a link on gossip, knowing my profound fascination with what I consider the damage and the price of gossip.

I digress….

Yesterday, I stopped at a deli/cafe/luncheonette: not sure how to describe the place except it is homey with excellent food. My husband and myself found ourselves able to have a good cup of coffee and a meal together…priceless. I was there when the owner of the “cafe” bought a flat screen television for the wall and remember his excitement.

So on this stolen morning I walk in and see Angelina Jolie as big as life on the Today Show. Now of course, my husband knowing that I admire Ms. Jolie, walked over to the television to turn up the volume because it was a busy day there at the cafe.

A group of women were meeting for breakfast, one turned, watching me watching the screen…and said…”she actually looks more human.”

Ok, um, I think I get that, she is larger than life, smeared on tabloids, photographed at angles and in light that normally make her appear to be….a space alien?

Regardless, I strained to watch and listened and learned, that yes, after my long day, I could maybe make it home in time to see the Dateline episode. And I did, it began at ten Eastern time and my family was a bit loud, but I crept closer to our not flat tv screen……………..

You see, I admire Ms. Jolie on a few fronts:

1. she’s honest

2. she tells it like it is

3. she either tells us or doesn’t everything

4. she’s a humanitarian.

Big word: humanitarian.

Maybe she is smeared and smashed across God knows how many fronts for the sole purpose of the media/magazines making money…but there are a few things you cannot take from her…she does not need to adopt children or birth children to get better movie ratings…she does not need to endanger herself and spend her money on strangers for better ratings….she is not an unfit mother because she cares about others and dares to do something about it…

I’m sorry, I got carried away.

My point is simply, she sends a good message to younger girls and women. You made a mistake? You experimented? You weren’t sure who you were at 16 and did things that at 30 you regret or don’t want anyone to find out about?

Why live with that?

Why live with the fear of shame and judgment? It simply inhibits growth.

Gossip kills, if not literally, then a piece at a time, until the light within all of us is extinguished.

See further resources, ask yourself, if you had untold millions, what would you do?

More:

Vineberg.Blogspot

JustJared.Buzznet.com

The Angelina Jolie.com

MSNBC.com

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2 thoughts on “Breathing beyond the tabloids: Angelina Jolie…no gossip… no judgment

  1. First…congratulations on finding the time to enjoy a nice meal with your husband. Definitely priceless.

    Now on to the topic of gossip. On my other blog Out of My Head (I mention it only if you want to read the whole thing) I wrote about those 4 women who were fired for gossiping in Hooksett, NH. And at first, I was seeing it from the point of view of what damage gossip can cause, but the more I thought about it – and of some of the not-so-horrible aspects of gossip – my take on the whole thing changed. In the end, I defended the women’s right to have their say in private – and I criticized a vindictive boss and over-reactive outcome (as much as I understood the boss’s pain and frustration.)

    While I agree that gossip can be damaging, I think it’s part of human nature – and as my post suggests, even serves some good purposes. Now how we react to the gossip is another story. And when it’s used as a weapon…well, I draw the line there. In cases where it has damaged someone to the core, this is a horrible thing and I have nothing clever to say that makes it ok. But that kind of gossip is only a means to an end – if the intent was to harm by whatever means, if not gossip, something else. But where gossip is benignly entertaining or even, at times, a means of bringing to light needed information…well, then it may just have its place.

    And then again…there is that insidious gossip about people of other races or backgrounds that makes my skin crawl. In those cases, I’d rather hear it shouted than whispered so we can have an open discussion. But if John just got an eyelift and Mary tells me…well, I admit I’ll listen.

    So what’s the answer? I have a friend who has chosen to never participate in any form of gossip and I respect him for that. I’m not that strong. If it’s really nasty stuff, I usually beg off. But if it’s just some fun juicy story…well, I must admit I’ll enjoy it as much as the next person. Although I respect that the next person probably would not be you, SurfaceEarth. (-;

    And when it comes to Angelina Jolie…this has been the price of fame for a long time. It’s not a pretty price and I know it doesn’t feel fair, but it won’t go away as long as she lives her life large. Not that she shouldn’t…just comes with a public price. And I respect your outrage at the broad-stroke picture that has been painted of such a complex woman. If she were a man, by the way, I think the rhetoric would not be as frenzied. But that’s another post. (-;

  2. Ah, wonderful thoughts Ronnie. I struggle with where to begin. Yes, I understand the distinction, if it is “nasty”, etc. then of course the answer is gossip is damaging and should be avoided.

    I question how we characterize the level of gossip or the form?

    Is it simply from our own perspective as to what is nasty or not, juicy or not, harmless or not, or do we step into the person’s shoes who would be the subject of the gossip?

    I simply wonder, as I continue on this meanandering path, suppose there was no gossip? Suppose we as humans never had the thought or the need to gossip or to speak of others when not present?

    I often like to remind myself: act as if the world is watching, act as if your children are watching, etc.: is that how I would want to be seen? is that what I in turn would want to teach?

    In an effort to reach another place of being, it is a struggle, and yes I agree, to not gossip may not come naturally.

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