I was thinking about New Year’s resolutions and mine are similar to a lot of people. Make a commitment to get in better shape, lose the Christmas five pounds, eat healthier, be more disciplined, blah, blah, blah.

Then I received an email from a reader who has been caught in the middle of some nasty gossip. It was a short note but I could feel the sadness and the anger and the frustration in her words coming through loud and clear from somewhere in cyberspace. It was not the way this person wanted to begin 2015, that’s for sure.

And I started thinking–most people haven’t a clue of the damage they cause when they spread rumors.

Because gossip and rumors are always based on someone else’s story. They consist of a boatload of speculation supported by a thimbleful of facts.

No wonder they cause so much harm.


I admit I’ve fallen into the rumor mill and here’s what I’ve learned:

Everyone gets their turn on the hot seat and when it’s your turn . . . your story . . . your life . . . you realize it’s not much fun.

And I’ve also learned the truth of the matter ends up being much more complex than what the rumors would have us believe.

Consider this before you repeat something: Is it YOUR story to tell? Or someone else’s?

It’s tempting to take part in the gossip. Maybe not so tempting if you’ve had your turn on the hot seat and understand how uncomfortable it can be.

So here’s a great resolution for 2015:   If it’s not your story to tell, don’t tell it.


Resolve to let the gossip end with you.

If it goes in your ear, it never comes out of your mouth.

Don’t give rumors any legs. Don’t give them a voice. Don’t waste your breath repeating them.

Because if those nasty rumors don’t get repeated, they die a pretty sudden death.

Make a resolution for 2015 to be a ninja warrior and cowabunga the gossip and speculation sure to come your way.

You’ll end up being someone’s hero and you’ll plant the seed for another to return the favor  when it’s your turn on the hot seat.  And yes,  you will get a turn.  Everyone does.

For those times when you’re pressed for details?  When you aren’t sure how much to share?  Avoid the newsfeed and simply say, “It’s not my story to tell.”  And drop it.

It’s not my story to tell. 

Go ahead. Copy that line in your journal. Paste it on your mirror. Use it as a screen saver. Say it over and over until it rolls off your tongue effortlessly.

You may never know for certain, but I promise you this:  With those six little words you will become someone’s hero.

And that’s a nice way to begin the new year.