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I was thinking today about drama and stories, most specifically the ridiculous drama often seen played out on social media. Sometimes I have to just laugh when I see certain people calling others out for airing dirty laundry in public, when they themselves are among the worst offenders.

Our family was — and is — full of stories, but with very little drama. From as far back as I can remember, Mom had a particular phrase that measured what would or would not be shared: “Is it your story to tell?” If the answer was “yes”, then you could pass it on. If the answer was “no”, keep it to yourself. Talk about a drama squelcher!

Once I moved out on my own, I missed out on many of the family stories. Mom was not one to pass news back and forth, as she assumed that my sister and I were talking to each other regularly. Especially with good or exciting news, where it would be really fun to share, she just didn’t think it was her place to, as she would say, “Steal our thunder.” It took us a while to figure this out, as Melody would often tell Mom something that was going on, and then not say anything to me because she thought Mom would have already told me. Mom, going on the “it’s not my story to tell” principle, wouldn’t have said anything and I would find myself completely out of the loop!

With Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and so many other ways to communicate instantly, information or misinformation can quickly spiral out of control. Before you pass on personal news, ask yourself, “Is it my story to tell?” The results will be worth it.