April Jeppson: Go to the source if there is ever an issue

Published 8:45 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I had someone confront me this week. They were visibly upset, and I could tell by the tremor in their voice that they had mustered up quite a bit of courage to talk to me. They were mad about things that I had done. They were telling me all sorts of things that I unjustly said and did to a friend of theirs.

April Jeppson

It didn’t take long before I interrupted them. I have to deal with complaints and angry customers often — it’s part of my job. However, I had little patience to listen to this nonsense. I had to let them know that what they were saying simply wasn’t true. I did not do or say any of the things that I was being credited for. Someone crafted this fictitious tale, and this poor individual bought it hook, line and sinker.

Email newsletter signup

I did my best to correct their misinformation, but I’m not sure if they believed me. I know that sometimes people would rather believe juicy gossip than the truth. Often the truth is boring and without pizazz. People like pizazz. It’s why television news has morphed into a spectacle. The days of Walter Cronkite reading the facts are gone, and in its place are rumors, hearsay and gossip with some truth sprinkled in for good measure.

I’m thankful when people come and talk to me directly. Especially when it involves something they think I was involved in. For the most part, people give me the benefit of the doubt, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. For those that don’t know me or my character, I understand why they would believe what they heard. It’s unfortunate, but I get it.

I had a co-worker once who loved to tell me things I didn’t know. It was one of their favorite activities. I didn’t grow up in this town, so there are a lot of people and things that I simply don’t know. At first it was helpful information. I heard people mention things like “the old Walmart” and Wilson’s, and for years I was clueless. This individual helped to fill in the gaps.

As time went on, the history lessons started to include people. I didn’t mind learning who used to own this business or who was a former city council member. When the “helpful” information started to veer on the side of gossip, I asked them to talk about something else.

I don’t want to know bad things about people. I don’t want to know about the mistakes that someone made 20 years ago. I’ve made mistakes in my life, and

I know I’ve grown from them. I’m not the same person that I was 20 years ago, or even two years ago. I would hate for someone to judge me on my worst day.

The other component is that I don’t believe everything I hear about other people. If you’re telling me about your sister’s ex-husband that you hate, I’m sure things happened that made you feel that way. I however, have no desire to jump on the hate wagon with you. I believe there are three sides to every story: yours, theirs and the truth, so I’d prefer to just stay out of it.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.