Wednesday, May 13, 2009
oil on linen
Ah, the bug life. Gossiping among ants is no different than it is among humans, I would imagine. In the end, it has the odd and unnerving tendency to diminish those who partake in it while elevating the intended target. We don't stop to think that our attacks on others, be they vicious or what could be thought of as harmless, cause those we're speaking to— to wonder just when their own name and character will come spilling out of our mouths and to whom.
I worked in a close knit office years ago. Our boss was a tyrant (yes, yet another tyrant) and we stuck together through our "suffering." I had two really close friends. One friend shared some information about another co-worker in the office that was quite startling. I was sworn to secrecy. I knew that this friend wouldn't mind if I shared this information with my other really close friend, who I thought of as a relative we spent so much time together. I felt no guilt in sharing and in fact was quite proud of my ability to keep a secret afterward. The friend I shared the secret with was equally startled by the information and thought the subject of this information should know what was being said. Without telling me his intentions, my friend went directly to the subject of the information and told him what I'd said.
The very next day, I was staring into this person's inquisitive, hurt and distressed face as he asked, point blank, why and how I could do this to him. I was stunned, ashamed, mortified and crushed. I wanted the earth to part and swallow me up on the spot. Luckily the story went no further and I apologized profusely when I was finally able to own my actions, however my apology did nothing to eliminate years of shame and regret. This incident remains, to this day, one of the most embarrassing and definitely one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned.
Still, I'd love to know what those two are saying.