…and not out of the mouths of people who weren’t there.
Sadly this does not make my point clear enough for some idiots. It’s a shame.
In an age where we literally have mini computers at our fingertips every waking second, it still surprises me that nobody can be bothered to find out the facts before they gossip and spread rumours.
There is a great line in the film Hot Fuzz; ‘Auntie Jackie’s sister’s brother’s boy’ which describes almost perfectly any scenario where someone tells you something they heard from someone else.
We all know how it goes, you’ve probably been party to it happening. The difference is knowing (or realising) if something is true or if it’s been embellished or otherwise altered, and is now either not quite accurate; the car was yellow and not blue as you were told, or it’s vastly different to what really happened; she tripped over the dog, caught her face on his knee and got a nosebleed= he smacked her in the face. Do you see what I mean?
We all get told things about other people, and we hear stories and such about things that have happened, it’s part and parcel of human interaction, it just is. The thing is, what you are being told isn’t necessarily what actually happened. You cannot grantee that what you are being told 4th hand is accurate in any way. Unless you know the person was a witness to the thing they are telling you about, what they are telling you will not be the whole truth. Even if they were a witness it’s still a bit iffy, but that’s a whole other blog.
It really doesn’t matter if the car was yellow or blue in this particular incident, the fact is it was a car, the colour is immaterial. They wouldn’t have been hurt any less if it was a yellow car or a blue car. But, if you tell someone that she got a nosebleed because her boyfriend hit her, you are contributing to the falsehoods that will potentially ruin somebody’s life.
There’s a vast difference between what is true, what you think is true and what somebody is telling you is true.
I was once accused of slander by someone I had never met. This girl believed I had been saying all manner of things about her, simply because her friend had told her so, so in her mind it must be true. There was no evidence, no other witnesses to this supposed attack on her character, no proof at all. Yet no amount of me saying that I had no idea who she was, so how could I have done this, was persuading her otherwise. I wonder what happened to her if she was this gullible and stupid.
Unless you have absolute concrete evidence of something that happened, and you can provide said evidence from reliable sources, and leave no reasonable doubt in their minds that what you are saying is true, don’t say anything.
This of course does not relate to matters of law, if you see a crime or hear of a crime then you must speak up, regardless if you know it to be true or not, someone has potentially been a bad monkey, and they must be dealt with accordingly. If they have done nothing wrong then no harm is done.
Having evidence is the be all and end all of rumours and hearsay.’ Criminal court relies solely on evidence and hard facts to prove cases against people. They don’t go on hearsay and rumours, it doesn’t wash in court. They don’t care that Aunt Jackie’s sister’s brother’s boy told him, who told three other people, who then told you that John Doe told Jane Doe she was a useless cook, so Jane Doe shoved the whisk up his backside. They want you to prove that what you are saying is true. Maybe you were there and took pictures of John Doe with a whisk up his bum? That picture is proof that a whisk did indeed go up his rectum, but not necessarily that Jane put it there. Maybe you were videoing something randomly and the incident happened, that is 100% irrefutable hard evidence that Jane shoved the whisk up Johns bum. Anything else is null and void after that, and proves 100% that what you are saying is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
It’s the same in life as it is in court. Just because somebody is telling you something does not make it true. People lie. They lie to make their involvement seem less, or better than it was, or to make themselves out to be the good guy.
Find out the facts of the matter if you should need too, but otherwise take it all with a pinch of salt and move on. Other people’s lives are absolutely non of your concern unless you are directly involved with it.
I have a friend who regularly gossips about other people. I have said many times that I don’t care what is going on in these strangers lives. I don’t know most of the people she talks about, and what they are doing is none of my concern or business, but she carries on babbling about prison, their kids and random shit. She even gets annoyed about what they do, even though it’s nothing to do with her.
I have been on the receiving end of rumours and hearsay, like the story above, and it’s not a good feeling to know that strangers are talking about you in an unfavourable light based off of what somebody outside of your family said. I live on an estate where most people know each other by name. Some of them are related, or they went to the same school, or they’ve lived here for 10 years or more. What those people say to my neighbours is generally taken as fact, and not as the rumours they actually are. This has lead to the majority of my neighbours believing some startling things, based on what they’ve heard through rumours and gossip, from people who don’t even know us enough to say hello in the street. I find myself wondering if the people chatting on the small local area bus are talking about me, and what they are prattling on about is based on what they’ve heard about me. It makes you paranoid.
I can tell you from experience, it’s not pleasant to hear the rumours either. I had a child when I was 19. When she was still in a buggy I was shopping in town with her and a friend stopped me to chat, after looking around me briefly, she asked me where my other children were. She’d heard that I had had 3 children! and therefore it was true, so she was expecting me to have a gaggle of kids, when in fact I just had the one. She couldn’t remember who told her about my other 2 supposed children, so I had nothing to go on to find out where that daft rumour had sprung up. I did move to London with my then boyfriend on the last day of school at 16 years old. It is entirely possible that the rumours came from that.
The whole idea that thousands of people go around believing things they’ve been told with no proof of it being correct astounds me. It happens all over the world. It’s prevalent on FB, Twitter and the like, those memes you share about government cut backs, science facts, and anything else that some idiot has seen fit to write and share are not necessarily 100% correct, or even accurate. You sharing them just adds to the stupidity and makes getting the truth across more difficult.
It’s time to spread the word, but that word is Proof. Evidence. Black and white irrefutable proof. If there’s even a hint of reasonable doubt then don’t go around spouting it. It’s really that simple.