When I was an undergrad living in the dorms, I had a hall mate named Sal. He was such a nice guy. Always polite. Always doing the right thing. Loved his family. Once Sal and I were talking and he said something to me that has stuck with me over the years. He said that there is always a little bit of the truth in rumors and lies.
Interesting and insightful thought from Sal. Of course, his thought made me analyze everything people said to me from that point on. It was as if Sal had inadvertently planted a seed of doubt and mistrust in my mind. Or maybe I, as I often did, over analyzed one person’s opinion.
Is there any validity to what Sal said? Perhaps there is in some cases. But, then again maybe there is not. Need an example? I have one. So I heard a rumor a few years ago about someone I went to high school with. Apparently, a friend of mine who kept in touch with one of our old teachers, had heard that this girl was having a hard time. Her parents lost their house and she was working as a stripper. What!?!? I couldn’t believe this. I wasn’t close with this girl but I had known her since Elementary School. Yes, she had changed in high school, but stripping, I couldn’t believe it. Some years later I saw this girl. No way was I going to bring up the rumors I had heard. To this day I have not asked her about it because whether it is true or a lie, it is not my business. Plus when I saw her again she was happily married with a son.
Boy, rumors and lies can really mess up a person’s reputation. Especially if completely unfounded. But maybe it’s possible she was just working as a waitress at a strip club and that teacher took it the wrong way. Maybe she had talked about stripping to help out her family as a possibility and somehow word got back to this teacher, but just twisted and distorted.
This reminds me of a game I used to play as a kid called “Telephone”. Someone whispers something in a person’s ear, then they whisper it the the next person, and so on. When the statement gets to the last person you say what you heard. Most of the time it was always something crazy and unintelligible. Yet, this is a perfect example of how something that started out as true can get turned into rumors and lies.
I say to take those rumors you hear about people with a grain of salt. If you want to know the real truth of someone just go talk to them. Get to know them. Ask them. Don’t get caught up in the superficial stuff like appearance. We are human, which means we are flawed and imperfect. We don’t always get it right the first time around. In fact, do we ever get it right the first time around?
So what do you think? Is there always some truth in rumors and lies?