Though the cover price was $14.00, SA was selling it for $1.00. Though there were a number of passages that I skimmed because they didn't really interest me, there were a number of bits that got me thinking. Here's one:
"You are about to tell someone the news of something that recently happened. "Guess what? You don't know yet? Let me tell you." If you are alert enough, present enough, you may be able to detect a momentary sense of satisfaction within yourself just before imparting the news, even if it is bad news. It is due to the fact that for a brief moment there is, in the eyes of the ego, an imbalance in your favor between you and the other person. For that brief moment, you know more than the other. The satisfaction that you feel is of the ego, and it is derived from feeling a stronger sense of self relative to the other person. Even if he or she is the president or the pope, you feel superior in that moment because you know more. Many people are addicted to gossiping partly for this reason. In addition, gossiping often carries an element of malicious criticism and judgement of others, and so it also strengthens the ego through the implied but imagined moral superiority that is there whenever you apply a negative judgment to anyone."
This passage makes clear the appeal of talking trash about someone else, something I rarely do. Could it be that our parents were right when they said, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." I'm not saying that we shouldn't tell others if they are doing things that are bothering us (the co-worker who 86's every new idea you have, the parent who never calls, the partner who never wants to have sex during the day), just that it's hard to see the point of saying something about others that you wouldn't say to their face. In conversation, I like to ask others how THEY are feeling, how life is going for them, not what's going on with so-and-so.