The Evolution of a Rumor

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There are many reasons to never take part in a rumor. Rumors are by nature like propaganda, always with an agenda. The difference? Propaganda is intentionally flawed; rumors are ignorantly flawed.

Consider the stages of the evolution of a rumor: 1) Leveling: There is generally a lot of information, but as it is passed along, the rumor becomes more brief and looses many details of truth. 2) Sharpening: The information that remains is sharpened, and a few details (whether true or not) become very important. 3) Assimilation: We create certain ideas from the brief information that remains, filling in details with our experiences and mindsets. In short, we reinvent what might have been said or done, and we share it as gospel truth.

Oh the reputations that have been destroyed, the friendships that have eroded, and the churches that have been torn asunder by the propagation of a rumor. And to think that I may have been part of such makes me shudder with shame and regret.