Knowing “about” Someone

When I was a kid, I thought that once all of my friends and age-mates grew up, we would all behave rationally and make wise and kind decisions. Then, I grew up.

I learned the hard way that we all carry with us the emotional baggage of childhood. I learned through very painful experiences that the baggage spreads hurt — just like it did in childhood. I learned through even more tough experiences that the baggage can be overcome and grown-ups can leave the proverbial sandbox.

Which brings me to my post today. I know I have a few people in my life who spread a lot of “information” around about me when I’m not there to hear it. I’m certain that they are very sincere in their desire to “help” people out who don’t know me very well. Strangely, those people who have little or no desire to get to know me after these sharing sessions.

Where I come from, we call this “talking about” someone.

By the grace of God, I am learning to let these things go, even though it hurts. So, today isn’t a rant about the talkers. It’s a “wondering about” the listeners.

Sure, when you move to a new place, you rely heavily on the people you first meet to give you insight into your new community. Ditto when you start a new job, join a new church, etc. We feel so much gratitude for the people who step up to help us out that perhaps we don’t turn on filters that should be there.

  • If a person can only see the bad in someone else, why is that? Do they have a personal agenda?
  • Is this person genuinely being kind (which I have found means they recommend those they have found to be the best — not just in friends but in retail, doctors, and so on)?
  • Especially when you have been warned away from becoming friends with someone, do your personal experiences fit with what you’ve been told?

Life is messy and people aren’t perfect. Sometimes, we are getting good information, and sometimes, we aren’t. Maybe that’s why God gave us each our own personal brain and heart.


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