I wish I could say that seeing how hurt she was cured me of any desire to ever speak ill of anyone. I felt bad. But I also experienced the power of words for the first time, and the power of sharing a secret, fact, or observation about another person was intoxicating. While I knew it was wrong, I often resorted to gossip to garner attention. I operated under the assumptions of “I’m just saying what everyone already knows,” “I’d totally say this to their face.” Or, the ever popular, “Well, I’m telling people so they can add it to their prayer intentions.” While this used to prick my conscience, like any sin, the more I spoke the less I felt bad.