By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"Sherry" found herself a recent recipient of verbal backlash, backwash, and gossip.
Rumors from negative employees surfaced and spread quickly deteriorating the success of her small business and eroding confidence in her customer base.
The rumor mill was fed vigorously and viciously until, finally, Sherry just threw in the towel and called her business quits.
Dejected, defeated, and disillusioned, she assigned herself a defeatest attitude incapable of recovery.
Hmmm ...
What do we do when gossip infects our world and affects our lives?
What's the plan when words spread like confetti to the furthest ends of the earth?
How do we help loved ones injured by it?
My thoughts about gossip are short and concise:
Gossip is a small man's sport. 
Refuse to play it.
Here's a "gossip" acrostic to get you thinking in a healthy direction when you're up against it or tempted to participate in it.
Feel free to pass it around ...
G - Get out of Dodge
Gossip gatherers flock together like birds of a feather, and great men aren't participants at these gatherings.
 If you choose to be a "silent" bystander, you are nothing more than a passive and cowardly participant ... and one with very itchy ears.
Either contribute something positive and stop the conversation or get the heck out of dodge and stay there.
O - Optimize Optimism
Optimism looks and sounds great on successful individuals ... and it's active.
Dare to wear optimism in negative settings and you'll not only set yourself apart from others, you'll carry a refined and defined sense of dignity, wisdom, and confidence.
S - Silence is Golden
Silence is golden.
Plead the 5th internally and allow time and character to shed light on truth and reality. Engage yourself with individuals and activities that speak to what you're about and refuse to foster an extended timeline of gossip with more verbal volley.
Shhh ... even when it hurts like hell.
S - Shoulder Up
Shoulder up with loved-ones experiencing gossip and contribute your presence as a strengthening reenforcement beside verbally abused loved ones ... because that's what gossip creates.
Positive identification, association, and affirmation are invaluable healing aids to those suffering verbal blows.
 Shoulder up.
I - Invite and Invest
Books are extraordinary resources which have the power to edify, encourage, and redirect the most weak and weary of souls.
Invite books into your life.
Invest in uplifting reading material.
Inspire yourself by investing in the lives of others.
Study individuals who have faced extraordinary odds and succeeded.
 Devour their mindset!
Others have survived ... and you will too.
Books are an extraordinary resource so make use of them. Utilize your library and meet new people and new friends as you go.
Invite and Invest.
P - Persevere
Yes, sometimes life is hard and we get hurt ... but it will get better.
Hang in there and persevere!
Wisdom, discernment, and empathy arrive on the heels of verbal abuse, attack, and gossip and we're more careful, ourselves, to not engage in it when once we're on the other side.
The truth is, at one time or another, we are each and all active participants in gossip.
Maybe our tongues aren't the heaviest "waggers" or "nay-sayers" in the group, but still we know ourselves to be unjust and ugly with our mouths at times:
-We all speak out of turn, unfairly, and unjustly.
-We are all guilty of speaking indiscretely and regretfully.
-We are all reckless and ruthless in our management of the tongue ... and can do better.
And so we begin here ...
And we do it concretely.
*Take responsibility for that little thing called the tongue in your mouth, and ask for help from God in cleaning it up before the next conversation.
Then counteract:
Put a gouge in gossip with some words of gratitude.