You Can’t Unring a Bell

A gossip separates close friends.
          —Proverbs 16:28

“I’m going to tell you something,” she whispers, “but you mustn’t tell a soul.”

She won’t—except her friends; and that only after they promise they won’t tell a soul.

They won’t—except their friends. And there you go.

What you say is out of your control the second you say it. You can’t “unspeak” what you’ve spoken any more than you can unring a bell or unscramble an egg.

When you’re dumping garbage in her ear, she’s getting a subliminal message that goes like this: “If she will talk to me about others, she will talk to others about me.”

Gossip is the art of saying nothing
in a way that leaves nothing unsaid.

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