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Hear-say is a social nuisance. Its sadder part is that the fabricator of it cannot be known by us. Finding out its root is as difficult as to reach the source of a river. It is also like knowing about our far ancestors. We may go back up to certain generations and then we have to stop somewhere. Here-say or in other word to say ‘Rumor’ spreads like fire. Where there is fire, there is always wind. Similarly, when a rumor starts, nobody can control or stop it. It is the weakness of human mind that such rumors are exaggerated by who-so-ever hears and then it is passed on to others. Authenticity of hear-say is always lame as it is not based on one’s personal knowledge. Another’s statement comes to the listener passing through many tongues and ears with no any concrete base. Therefore, the judicial system also does not accept such hear-say evidence as per the law of evidence because the witness is unable to say anything on oath.
Hear-says, related to individuals, communities, religions or even nations, create misunderstandings among the people and adverse messages far from any truth spread over everywhere. The victims of such hear-says have to suffer the irreparable damage to their own prestige. Some bias or complex, once fixed in the minds of the people, takes a very long time to be wiped off. In individual cases, Irresponsible and intentional fabrications of the stories against him or her make them mentally disturbed and sometimes they are so much pressurized that he or she attempts to make suicide or on the ground of some doubt towards the supposed enemies, he or she gets excited and takes revenge by quarrel, murder or any other damage. Such harsh action undertaken under excitement is liable to be condemned and at long last the doer has to suffer some punishments by law. William George Bonin, a murderer, who was executed about a decade ago in America had uttered his last words as “I would suggest that when a person has a thought of doing anything serious against the law, it should go to a quiet place and think about it seriously before it does.”
Now, let us discuss some aspects of this issue in light of some psychological and social impacts falling on our smooth and steady life. Here onwards, we are going to take up the matter in discussion relating to individuals only.
First of all, as a part of creating courage in us to face this evil, we – the individuals should not take all such back biting and rumors targeted towards us as a serious issue if we are fully right on our part. If the hear-says, spread against us, are brought to our knowledge by any of our well-wishers, we should take them easy. Epictetus, a Greek Philosopher, has quoted as – If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself, you should say, “He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned.” We should not be swayed by all such hear-says, but we must stand still like a rock against them. We should not be victim of nervous breakdown or over-sensitiveness. It is the unavoidable nature of human kind that some of them are not only mean minded, but jealous also.
We should not expect that all guys known or unknown to us will be pleased about the goings on in our life. Public opinions carry no weight and if we ignore them, they will automatically calm down. When time passes, they forget the hear-say spread about us or some other fresh hear-say may take its place there. That is why it is said that the memory of public is always very short.
Now, let us try to know who those devils may be doing all these notorious activities just for their worthless entertainment. First of all, the needle of suspicion may turn towards one’s own open or disguised enemies. Some Psychologists have found out with their observations that there are some people in every society who feel insecurity owing to their own problems get engulfed by envy and jealousy. They are always interested in numbering happy hours of others. Their minds having devil’s workshops are always busy and ready to think out how they can find a new fellow to hurt its feelings. All of a sudden, they people become offensive with their weapons of hear-says. Now, we have two options whether we allow ourselves to be hurt or fight against them. The latter is not a gentleman’s wisdom. Suppose that we want to fight with, but against whom! Isn’t it like biting into the air! I suggest going to the third option and it is that we should ignore all those things and try to create courage in ourselves to cope with the situation.
Hear-says fall short on evidence always. They are the mixtures of truth and untruth. The people behind hear-says can never bring proofs to surface. Besides, they will never show their faces to us. We can never know what they are cooking up behind us to degrade us in the eyes of those people who have high respect and great confidence in ourselves. They are stabbing us from behind to finish us cowardly. What it may be, but we should try to forget it thinking that it is just a nightmare. It is never possible that one may have all the people as friends and not a single foe. He who lives in a society may have some opponents also. There are two qualities of opponents, noble and cunning. Noble opponent will come face to face and the latter will remain invisible to us. They are determined to show us that we are not safe from their tongues. But, we must be equally determined that we are not going to pay any attention towards their dirty games.
It is obvious that when dung (છાણ) of cattle is lifted from the ground, the dust stuck to it will accompany it. Similarly, little or more effect of such wicked deed will influence the minds of our relatives, friends and associated persons in the field of our work. It may happen that some of them may turn their backs on us and join the gang of those notorious people without reserving any judgment whether we are offender or guilty. In such circumstances, we should take their behaviors as alarming that they are not our true relatives or friends. It would be better to depart from them or continue formal relations with them and form a new company of friends who may stand by us in such sorrowful hours in future. True friends or relatives are those who stick with us in our thick or thin times.
Summing up, I would like to put some questions to ask to our inner self. They are as: Are we not the birds of same feathers i.e. same persons like those whom we dislike? Do we have the same tendency of believing in the worst in somebody else like those people? Do we keep ourselves away from any falsehood or fabricated stories? Do we have clean conscience? Are we like those opinion making people? Do we blow any wind to spread over rumors or hear-says concerned to others? Are we like those who run away leaving the victim of hear-says or rumors to his or her destiny? Are we prepared to approach the victim to know the fact before reaching any conclusion? Many such questions may be asked to ourselves. If our answers are just and appropriate, we may criticize others; otherwise we have no right to do so.
“Behave with others as you would expect others to behave with you.”
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd: June 14, 2008