My Chinese professor is a super Zen guy–he’s vegetarian, goes for silent meditation retreats every holiday, doesn’t drink or smoke…he’s basically the most anti-mainstream middle aged Beijing man I’ve ever come across.

And yesterday he said something really profound:

“Telling someone about the gossip being spread about them may seem like you’re doing a good deed, but you’re actually becoming the bridge over which one person can spread harm to the other.”


I’ve struggled countless times trying to decide whose side I’m on–should I tell Susie that Marie thinks she’s a snob? It’ll help Susie be a better person, right? And Marie won’t have to tell her herself–it’s unlikely that she will, anyway! Susie’s my best friend, Susie must know…

Taking a step back now though, I see that my teacher’s right. Telling Susie that Marie thinks she’s a snob is a cowardly act on my part. If I really also thought that Susie was a snob, I’d tell her from MY point of view, as a best friend. Not hiding behind the venomous words of a third party who just so happened to verbalize what I was feeling. And if I didn’t think Susie was a snob? Then I’ll leave it to Marie to deal with her feelings about Susie–everyone will be better off, and if Marie doesn’t deal with it maturely, it’s her loss, and Susie’s totally obliviously fine cause ignorance=bliss and all that!


I guess I’ll take the advice of my wise Zenmaster Chinese teacher. Don’t be the bridge of harm, but the bridge of happiness!

Have a great day guys!