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Toxic tongues

This frog's sticky tongue does less harm than a human's
This frog's sticky tongue does less harm than a human's
Wikimedia Commons

There is little doubt as to the veracity of the idea that the human
tongue can be more damaging than a sword or other weapon. Malicious
gossip and lies have, throughout history, wielded enough power to
bring down kingdoms and corporations. Even unfounded rumors are
capable of destroying relationships and jobs--just look at the
infamous McCarthyism era, which resulted not only in loss of numerous
careers but also put innocent people in prison and drove some to

On a smaller, everyday-life scale involving those who are not
high-rollers, however, poisonous tongues are still able to inflict
major damage. When we strive to live decent, holistic lives, doing no
harm to others and only good, most of us believe it will return to us
in kind. Call it karma, or the law of returns, or the Golden Rule, we
have the notion that we will receive as we have given. Unfortunately,
the vast majority of society has not the reciprocal respect to deliver
any such kindness to us. God has given us free will, and many choose
to abuse that gift as a norm.

Within families especially, despite the concept that relatives are
meant to love, nurture and support each other, it is there you will
find, mnost frequently, examples of the most vile, despicable,
manipulative behavior possible. Sibling rivalry can reach extremes
comparable to Cain and Abel. Imagine, for instance, a woman so
jealous of her younger sister she has spent well over fifty years not
only committing acts of physical abuse (in childhood), but has spread
her calumnious hatred among all her friends and other kin, with
vicious lies and slander. With the offended sister not even present
to defend her reputation, of course, all the lies and venom are taken
as truth. The result has been that, for reasons the younger woman
isn't even able to dispute due to being outnumbered and simply not
heard, her entire family and countless other people have treated her
with contempt and cut her off completely. The older sibling's goal of
destroying her sister's life has been an uncontested success.

Poisoning of someone's character in this way can be difficult if not
impossible to heal. Aside from the emotional hurt rendered, it causes
rejection by those inclined to buy into such sordid accounts. Few
listeners to gossip bother to check for veracity--the tales are taken
as true only because they were heard first. No number of corrections
will be accepted, lies always have seniority.

In healthy relationships people do not set out to do others harm. In
minds, bodies and spirits that are balanced and seeking their way to
lives of integrity, truth, beauty and peace, deliberate bad intentions
of any sort are not a part of their being. Persons who are leading
lives based on principles which enrich themselves and others will,
instead, assist fellow beings in general to live their live
harmoniously and in community.

For residents of the Detroit area--if you've been wounded by malicious
tongues and need to get your life in balance again, seek help from
the following source:


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