I started my lesson off today by asking my girls, can gossip be good?
As we played the game, Telephone - a game where you pass a phrase around the circle by whispering it - the girls thought it was hilarious and fun. When the phrase gets to the last person in the group, and she states what she has heard, of course it’s not even remotely close to the original phrase. The same is true with gossip. And this is what our lesson was based on today.
What exactly is gossip? Idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.
I brought a fan out of the attic, cut up tiny pieces of paper, set a bowl filled with the paper pieces in front of the fan. As I turned it on to HIGH SPEED, and I started saying random things about people (I made up names & scenarios), the pieces of paper went flying all around the room. We couldn’t even catch them. It was a huge lesson in how fast gossip spreads!
Real life gossip is common in everyday life. It happens with these Balcony Girls – it happens with girls and women of all ages, including myself. But it can be painful. And I personally have found myself asking forgiveness of another person for not keeping my mouth shut. This exercise has made me think twice about opening my mouth the next time I am tempted.
After speaking to the girls about the hurt involved when gossip takes place, I gave them ideas of what to be listening for when gossip starts - as a warning sign!
Did you hear?
I probably shouldn’t say this but …
Guess what So & So said?
Don’t tell anyone this, but …
I then gave the girls some BG tips on standing up to a friend who starts the gossip chain:
Tell your friend that you aren’t interested in talking about that other individual, not in a condemning way, but firmly
Point out that what she is doing is hurting other people
I ended our lesson today with a broom and dustpan. What better way than to sweep up the gossip and throw it out? I starting sweeping up the pieces of paper strewn across the room. And I told the girls about the verse which I have been reading and meditating on this past week … “So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk.” (I Peter 2, The Message).
We ate brownies and popcorn, and we worked on an exciting Mother’s Day gift (but shhh! don’t tell any of the BG moms!), which I will share the details next time.
My hope is that through these visuals, my point today had impact. I believe I gave the girls the “good gift of gossip.” That they learned in their circle of friends to make a positive statement with their words.
People listen to what you say! Take that power and start telling friends “good stuff” about others. Of course things that are true, but point out the positive – elevate each other in the friend chain! Don’t tear and bring each other down. Being positive is addictive, so start something by being example to others!
After all, isn’t that what a Balcony Girl does?
Ending our time together, we quoted the mission of our group: To build up and not tear down! And again I was reminded that this lesson was for not only my Balcony Girls, but for me.
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