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The Winter Blues And The Gossip Game

Thursday December 19, 2013

I can’t seem to get comfortable with the change of season this year from fall to winter.

There is a good reason for this as the weather is up and down like a yo-yo. I have seen snow come and go several times now and in huge storms with very high winds. Then I have seen torrential downpours of rain with the rapid departure of snow on the ground, roofs and lake.
In general people I am meeting during these intense weather days seem to be a little upset and that makes sense because we are more or less as northerners accustomed to the fading of autumn and the coming of winter in familiar ways.

Even the animals and birds near my place in the remote wilderness seem confused and a bit perturbed as they dart about doing their best to figure out what they should be doing to ready for winter.

I think the coming of winter can be difficult for northerners and in particular those living in remote and semi remote First Nations and towns. For many of us it means more freedom on remote First Nations because we can turn unstable muskeg into frozen highways, ice roads and snowmobile trails that allows us to travel far and wide. However, for many, it also means a more severe weather period where we are forced inside our homes for months.

In the winter, coffee shops, social meeting places like clubs and such are more popular as people look for a way to get out and interact.

The problem is that with the coming of this hard weather season it has always seemed to me that people get a little bit nasty with each other. The dynamics in small First Nations and towns change as people become more inward thinking and in many cases they just might not be all that happy with their lives. With lots of time on their hands and months of reflection possible, people sometimes decide that the best way to deal with their unhappiness or dysfunction is to lash out at others. So, I have always seen winter as the time when the most terrible gossip is spread.

I think that people in leadership positions in politics, organizations and agencies are very often the brunt of the winter blues gossip.

As a writer, I have learned that anyone in the media is a target and in particular if they are writing an article that is controversial. I am sometimes amazed at the really hard and often racist or bigoted comments I have had thrown my way merely because I was expressing a point of view. It really is necessary to develop a thick skin when working in areas that are open to public opinion.

Sometimes people get negative with me merely because I don’t do what they want me to do or I don’t keep in touch with them. I don’t go here or go there or do this or do that. In my experience I have seen that when I don’t make some people happy then they try to hurt me in some way and that makes me very sad but also angry.

I live my life following the motto of ‘live and let live’ and that has a lot to do with why I am continuing to have a clean and sober life. I don’t hate or dislike anyone and I try my best to be good and encouraging to those I meet but I understand very well that there will always be those that don’t agree with my way of seeing and understanding the world and I am fine with that. I just really wish people would be good and busy with their own lives and trying to improve themselves rather than lash out at others because it seems like an easy thing to do.

These days the coffee shops and local meeting places are being replaced by those who constantly check their status on social media like Facebook or Twitter.

There are a lot of positive things about this type of social media but also there are so many negative issues.

For those with limited lives who are unhappy something like Facebook becomes a weapon where they can strike out at others just because they can. The one important thing they forget is that they can be caught in any comments that are slanderous or lies as their words are documented.

The courts are full of cases these days where people are getting sued for slanderous gossip they documented through their input on social media like Facebook.

So the next time you feel the urge to knock someone’s reputation just for the fun of it, you should think twice because it could cost you much more than just an apology.

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