Communication is key to a successful relationship be it between two people or a group of people. When it comes to communities it is that more important to be transparent. Otherwise, rumors and gossip can destroy a healthy community in a short time.

Once upon a time, there existed a city in which there were only two parallel streets named 1st street, and 2nd street which were separated by tall buildings that only had windows towards their own street. The people in the city mostly walked only on their own street where they lived and were rarely going to the other one. But one day, a person crossed from the 1st street to the other, and residents of the 2nd street noticed that his eyes were full of tears. The person from the 1st street had no idea that his actions would cause that the people who lived on the 2nd street to spread rumors and gossip causing a domino effect that would end up destroying the city.

The rumors and gossip started with guessings like “Someone has probably died on the 1st street!” Then everyone started crying on the 2nd street. The rumor soon grew and grew, and the residents of the 2nd street were soon convinced that their neighbors had some gross misfortune. They were uncomfortable asking questions, and so, even though no one really knew what had happened, everyone believed that the neighbors were in some kind of big trouble. They became even more scared and cried more loudly.

In time, the residents of the 1st street heard the loud cries from the residents of the 2nd street and started to panic. “A war probably started or reached the other street… and it will soon reach us. We will all die!” they shouted over each other. All citizens on the 1st street decided to immediately leave to protect their lives and the lives of their loved ones from imminent disaster. When the people who were crying loudly on the 2nd street noticed that the other street was empty they got scared even more. They remembered the young man crying and that someone died. And because of that they concluded and started spreading rumors that everyone died of some disease, and because of those rumors no one was willing to go to the 1st street to check out if it was true. So the people living in the 2nd street also ran away from the city in the other direction.

And so it ended that both communities left their homes and ran in different directions without really knowing why. The king of the land where the city lay was surprised by different rumors and gossip that he heard from different sources. He didn’t know which ones were true and which were not. But still, because he did not want any harm to come to the other cities under his rule he decided not to send anyone to investigate what has happened in case if any of the rumors of disease were true.

Centuries have passed since then. There is nothing but ruins left of that city. And on two far sides of the former city, there are villages, where the inhabitants of which each street pass, from generation to generation, the legend of how once the whole population of the doomed city had to leave it in order to save itself from a huge disaster.

But all of this could have been avoided that day if someone from the 2nd street would ask the person from the 1st street what happened. And if they would have asked him that, they would have known that the real story was that the teary-eyed man was running to the closest market to get some vegetables for his dinner party. He was running because he was in the middle of preparing a big family dinner where he would host his parents and the parents of his wife, and he found out that he was missing a couple of ingredients. And the reason why he was crying was very simple and quite funny. He found out that he was missing a couple of ingredients while he was chopping onions. He panicked and forgot to clean his hands before running to the market. While he was running he was crying because he chopped onions before. And the more he wiped his tears with his hand the more he cried as he didn’t wash the onion of his hands before leaving for the market.

Moral of the story:

  • Communication is key to a successful relationship be it between two people or a group of people. When it comes to communities it is that more important to be transparent. Otherwise, rumors and gossip can destroy a healthy community in a short time.
  • Fear brings the worst in people. Situations can get even worse when people are afraid to ask for answers about the things that cause them the most worries. Don't let your imagination run wild, seek answers as soon as possible.


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