At a meal, your friends start belittling a common acquaintance. If you felt their criticisms were unjustified, would you defend the person?
You know, just a couple weeks ago, I was talking to the kids at church about this kind of situation. Except, with them, it was more of a situation where there was a new kid at school and their friends are talking about that new kid during lunch. They then had to choose the right thing to do, with the hopes that they would tell their friends to stop picking on the new kid and then try to befriend said new kid.
Yes, I would defend the common acquaintance. It’s not right to belittle someone behind their back. Even if those who are doing the belittling are the kinds of people who try to justify it by saying that it’s nothing that they wouldn’t say to that person’s face. That just makes you a jerk whether the person is there or not. In the immortal words of Bambi‘s Thumper, “If you can’t say nothin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
What would you do?
*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.