Speak No Evil

Why gossip is bad for your soul.

Continued from page 2

"I was stunned, realizing that if I had leaned over and joined that conversation and contributed all the dirt on his first marriage, this woman would surely have overheard. I could picture her standing up and announcing that it was her daughter we were gossiping about. And I would have died a thousand deaths.

"This was going through my mind as I nodded and pretended to listen to her. All the while I was thanking my boys and the rabbis in Jerusalem for saving me from what would have been the greatest embarrassment of my life."

As the saying goes, what goes around comes around. So do yourself and so many others a favor: Don't even let it go.

I took off my sunglasses and was leaning over with glee,about to tell all, when suddenly a picture of my boys in Jerusalem flashedbefore me. All those classes on morals and ethics, especially the ones onspeech, came swirling through my mind.

"You can imagine that it took all my self-control to put my glasses backon, lie back and not say a word. After awhile they finished their talk, gotup and left.

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"A few minutes later the woman to my left asked me the time and we startedchatting. We played some 'Jewish Geography,' and it seemed we had somecommon friends back home. Then she told me her name, and I swear to you asI am standing here today, it turned out that this woman was the mother ofthe man's first wife! The man that those two women on my right side hadbeen talking about!

"I was stunned, realizing that if I had leaned over and joined thatconversation and contributed all the dirt on his first marriage, this womanwould surely have overheard. I could picture her standing up and announcingthat it was her daughter we were gossiping about. And I would have died athousand deaths.

"This was going through my mind as I nodded and pretended to listen to her.All the while I was thanking my boys and the rabbis in Jerusalem for savingme from what would have been the greatest embarrassment of my life."

As the saying goes, what goes around comes around. So do yourself and somany others a favor: Don't even let it go.

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Lori Palatnik with Bob Burg
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