April Jeppson: Busy gossiping? Find a worthwhile hobby

Published 8:45 pm Friday, July 9, 2021

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

There’s an expression. Keep your eye on your own bobber. It means focus on what you’re doing and pay no mind to those around you. It means that if you are looking at someone else’s bobber, you may very well miss that a fish has brought yours under the surface for quite some time. It means mind your own dang business.

April Jeppson

It would be cool if these conversations actually helped people, but they don’t. When someone is complaining about how someone else is living their life, it solves nothing. In fact I’ve learned that the person complaining often has a bunch of stuff within their own sphere of influence that they need to work on. You don’t like how so and so is raising their kids? Maybe you should worry about your own.

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I like a good discussion, and opinions are the seasoning you put in between the facts. You can talk about the building that collapsed in Florida using only facts. However, that’s never the way it goes. If people are talking, they are going to pepper their opinions in there. I’m fine with that. It makes talking to others fun. I will say that the more informed an opinion is, the more enjoyable it is to listen to.

But there is a difference between talking about your opinions on international relations and talking about the person who lives down the street. Every day I hear peoples opinions on various topics. Some, like the price of gasoline, are harmless. However, when I hear people talking about the life choices that others are making, or even the way someone is doing their job, I get a little on edge.

At some point, we became very comfortable with giving our opinion on topics that we know very little about. I’m guilty of it as well. Technology has allowed us to simplify our lives so much that we simply have too much free time. If we were busy handwashing our linens down by the creek, or churning butter, I don’t believe we’d have the energy to care much about the day-to-day choices of others.

So, if you feel the need to meddle, gossip or talk about the way others are living their lives, here’s my suggestion to you. You are in need of a hobby to better fill your time. Might I suggest volunteering. There are so many organizations in this community that would love a set of helping hands. There are clubs that need coaches and children that need mentors. There are gardens that need help weeding, and there are so many lonely people that would love someone to talk to. Heck, maybe you could even take someone fishing. Just remember to keep your eye on your own bobber.

April Jeppson’s columns appear every Saturday.