That seeker should, also, regard backbiting as grievous error, and keep himself aloof from its dominion, inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 265)
It is so easy when we’re angry, to want everyone else to know how badly we’ve been wronged, and we look for someone to listen as we vent our frustration. Very quickly, this negativity will breed more negativity, until a false sense of intimacy is created. We’re “in the know.” We’re on the A list. We’re one of the crowd. We belong.
I had a friend like this once. In retrospect, I think our whole friendship was based on gossip and backbiting, under the guise of “information sharing”. I didn’t like it but I couldn’t seem to stop engaging. It had become such a habit I didn’t know what else to talk about.
Our society promotes gossip. We can’t even go grocery shopping or wait in a dentist’s office, without being immersed in magazines dedicated to spreading gossip and lies. This is another element of materialism gone wrong, and part of the decline of the old world order. We’ve been given a gift in this quote and a reason to stop, knowing it quenches the light of the heart and extinguishes the life of the soul.
Knowing the effects that gossip and backbiting has on my life, I can ask God to help me stop, and I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness