It is sad when Lakota people talk trash about each other. It’s even more disheartening to know that many people actually believe all the bad things they are told about another person. I have learned not to believe everything I hear because most of the time it just isn’t true. I rarely repeat things which I cannot confirm.
There are many who devote tons of negative energy into cruel verbal speculation about the personal, private lives of others. Our ancestors would be embarrassed of the way many Lakota people talk garbage about each other. They would also be ashamed of the fact that many people actually believe everything they are told about others. The energy we use to verbally put down other people would be better applied to making positive changes in our own lives, in my opinion.
For the lack of a better term, we all have our haters. They are usually the people who are dedicated to focusing on the misfortunes of those individuals they do not like. Vicious gossip is something that many people engage in every single day on our Rez as well as many other areas. I believe it is safe to say that we all have talked bad about someone else at one time or another.
Still, some people evolve into kind human beings and recognize gossip for the destructive force it really is. Others will spend their entire lives tearing down their relatives and people around them. Gossip is purposely telling lies about someone else. Do you sit down to visit with someone and wind up gossiping instead? If you find yourself constantly denying that you do, in fact, gossip on a regular basis, then maybe it is time to listen to what you are actually saying about people.
Innocent conversation is when we usually let other people know what has been going on in our lives. Maybe someone in the family achieved a major accomplishment, like obtaining a college degree. This is something worth letting friends know about. Visiting includes catching up on all the important things which have occurred in our lives since we last saw one another. Genuine visiting is usually harmless. It is good to share information and family updates with loved ones. There is rarely a sharing of lies when we visit.
Gossip is in a totally different realm. It is hard to believe that there really are people, ranging in age from teenagers to elders, who spend their time inventing a destructive chain of lies about other people. The chain of lies begins rattling when one gossipy person will tell another person the made up drama about so and so.
Some people feel they have to run from person to person to blab what they were told. Such is the evil seed of gossip – it grows very quickly. These conversations usually start out with “they said” or “did you hear about.” This is how rumors grow into monsters. One person says something to another person and the wildfire is lit. It’s even worse when we see mere Rez gossip brought up in the tribal council meeting or become the topic of the latest newspaper story. We must be really bored when our focus is on the lies told about other people.
There are often high levels of dark emotion and dysfunction prevailing on the Rez. Local gossip stems from anger, jealousy, hate, resentment or some other fear filled emotion. It is never about love. Rumors are also a fast way to get attention. People who blab to get personal attention should seriously consider counseling. Hard core liars and those who gossip are actually afflicted with an extreme mental illness, in my opinion.
Gossip ruins reputations and lives. It would be great if we could all work to improve our own lives instead of making such a big effort to ruin the lives of others. It is not Lakota to allow all those cruel untruths to spill from your mouth with a hidden agenda of wrecking other lives. I believe that buying into and perpetuating gossip is another example of our willing assimilation into the colonized society!
Does a family member or co-worker gossip about you? I know there are people living on my own Rez, even in my own community, who say things about me all the time. Some are even blood relatives. I have learned the hard way who I can confide in and who not to talk to. My words have often been used against me.
It takes an enormous amount of energy to remain negative. It would be awesome to focus more positive energy on the young people of our Rez. I have learned it is a lot more fun to be positive. The dark, negative emotions will make you physically ill if you continue to hold on to them. Still, some people would much rather cling to their darkness; many are so addicted to negative thinking they are beyond conjuring a single positive thought.
How fast would we change what we think if the people we gossip about immediately knew our thoughts? We all have this gift of knowing, some of us are more attuned to it than others. Would you make a greater effort to consciously monitor your thoughts when everyone around you knew what you were thinking about them?
If it scares you to know that some human beings have the ability to hear your unspoken thoughts, then it is time to purify your mind. I have always believed thought and speech create my reality. For instance, I have an idea which is a thought I might further consider. At some point I will start talking about my idea. If the thought is a good one then I will work to make it my reality.
Gossip begins as distorted thoughts. Thoughts hold power. Create your reality ethically and responsibly. Don’t waste your thoughts, voice or personal power working to ruin the lives of other people.