Is gossip useful and powerful?

The other day I was thinking about ‘gossip’. And just realized that almost everything conversation that is not part of a boardroom meeting, classroom discussion or an occupational interaction is actually gossip!

And yes, I did check the definition of the term. A few of them are as follows:

  1. idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others
  2. light, familiar talk or writing
  3. Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature

It appears to me from the definition of gossip that this thing can and has made and unmade governments and yet it is looked down upon.

Bill Clinton’s Monica ‘mouth’ Lewinsky issue brought him to the verge of impeachment. And the ‘discussions’, the ‘debates’ that took place about it on television and otherwise necessarily dealt with ‘personal’ and ‘private’ life of a person, which means all those who talked about Clinton’s Lewinsky ‘engagement’ actually gossiped!

By being the President Mr. Clinton did not in any way undermine his right to have a private life. But then the private life of a President can be legitimately called into question if his conduct lowers the dignity of his office.

So, the question here is: Is gossip essentially bad?

Think about it. We’ll come to it again.


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