In another time, long long ago, in another country, far far away, we kids had a favorite game called “Pass it On.”
We would sit in a great big circle, the more the merrier. The Starter (and everyone got a turn to start) would decide on a word or a short phrase and whisper it to the next person who would whisper it to the next person, who would whisper – you get the picture – until it had gone full circle. You were not allowed to ask for a repetition and yes, we did try to be miserable by speaking too fast or whispering too quietly and even adding something small but eventually the “secret” word or phrase would go full circle. And then be announced.
In all the years I played that silly little game, I do not recall even once that the final word/phrase to be the same as the starting word/phrase.
Recently, I was told a story as it had reached the final recipient but as I knew the “Starter,” I flatly refused to believe that final version. The “story” had traveled over a period of months via goodness how many people. Here and there an opinion was probably added; here and there something was twisted just a little; here and there, just for the heck of it, it was embellished just a little.
End result? Incredible hurt inflicted on that final recipient; incredible damage done to an already fragile relationship and a starter wondering what the heck had happened.
My heart breaks a little each time I think of it. I care so much and can do so little.
More to come…