I had another question about gossip. I was at dinner with my family, and we were talking about some funny times during our last vacation trip. These stories only stay within our family. We don’t tell them to anyone else.
One story involved a stranger, whom I mentioned something without thinking. He was sitting across from me in a boat and I happened to look down and saw that his toes were contorted. I mentioned that they creeped me out a bit which gave everyone at the table a laugh.
Does any of this seem to be a mortal sin? Now I know that gossiping requires certain things, but I wasn’t sure if any of that criteria was met. I think I was concerned because this is an easy sin to fall into.
The intent of gossip is to cause strife by telling others information about a person to damage that person's reputation. The information told could be true or false. It is not being told to a person who might be in charge or who has the authority to fix a problem. The gossip almost always avoids such people because they aren't interested in helping the person.
In your example, you mentioned that someone had a handicap that disturbed you. In my view, this is a tale that makes you look unsympathetic -- in other words, the brunt of the joke is on yourself and not the stranger. That isn't gossip.