Empress of the Universe

Saturday, June 30, 2007

By George, I Think I've Got it!

Today a friend sent a viral email with a powerpoint presentation attachment that made beautiful promises about my life if only I forwarded it to 10 people within ten minutes of opening it. Of course, if I didn't immediately forward the message, bad things would befall me and those I love.

I didn't pass it along. I didn't think the presentation was all that clever. The litmus test I use is whether my sisters will enjoy or appreciate the message. This one didn't pass the test.

So I hit delete instead of forward. And then it occurred to me.

A few years ago, before email overload, I was less discriminating about the forwards I would share with family and friends. I passed them all along -- although I admit a few times I included a disclaimer - "This is dumb, but I didn't want to take the chance of bad things happening to me if I didn't send it."

Then, as the world bombarded us with spam, and I began to appreciate how much time email wastes most days, I really did become more selective about which messages I'd pass along.

It became easier and easier to delete messages that promised curses on my life for the next seven years.

This morning it hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn't have breast cancer when I was forwarding those goofy, time-wasting, spelling-mistake-filled powerpoint messages that steal people's photography and art without credit, promising prayers, great riches, true love. Then I started deleting them. Then I had breast cancer.

So I'm going back to the bad old days -- I'm forwarding everything to everyone. I'm not taking any more chances!

Knock wood.

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Blogger Christine said...

I have recently resolved to press 'Reply All' to email messages that promise me nothing but bad luck and misfortune if I don't send them on.

You do know that God isn't online, right?

1:49 PM  
Blogger Michelle Henderson said...

Then how did He invent the Internet? (And why is Internet capitalized, just like He is?)

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Greg Benton said...

Didn't Al Gore invented the internet. Oh, wait a minute...'He's' taking on a divine persona as the Goracle of Climate Change!

A member of my family who 'discovered religion' in recent years, makes it a devotion to send along the threatening e-mails, i.e., 'you don't love me if you don't send this along'; 'you're not a kind and thoughtful person if..'; you will not receive the miracle, the love, the whatever...if you don't, blah, blah, blah.

I advised her in as sensitive a way as I could that this sort of thing is pagan witchcraft, sans the hair of a rabbit and wart of a toad.

Nothing that is truly loving and good is so intentionally manipulative. It's spiritual snake-oil disguised in Oprah-like sentiment as it tugs on the narcissistic temptation of manufactured 'guilt'.

When 'bad' things happen to good people, it isn't because of anything as shallow as the lonely appeal of a slide show's tear-jerking images.

No one of us living can escape the inherent laws of nature that govern the progress of all life; and so our calamities and sufferings are neither exclusive nor unusual but a normal part of life's parade.

It is the fragile and weak of heart who regard God, the Saints, the Holy, as a kind of jukebox of the greatest miracle hits.

Indeed, I think that it requires much less of a person to open oneself to the sublime power of God than it does in concocting all these tech-machinations whose object is nothing more than a perverse desire for a sense of 'power'.

I have been literally crippled by a devastating disease these past several years and have endured being mocked or pitied or blamed or smothered with herbs, bracelets, incantations and other rubbish like those e-mails.

Fortunately, thankfully, as I am confident that the Summers family is also most keenly aware, the miracles that come each day from God are in those around us who show their love, understanding, support and comfort, not through the purchase of a Hallmark Card or the denial of the very real suffering any of us share, or even in the words that they might offer, but by their authentic presence, even from far away, that enlivens us within.

One of my nurses, a woman almost of my vintage, told me not long ago that without the often painful injections of the drugs that I must receive for the remainder of my life, I would indeed be immobile, in a wheelchair, or bedridden as was the case for others just two decades ago.

Even as the disease progresses inevitably towards it's natural end in this sorry old bod, I am thankful to God for the wonders he has shown through the brilliance and determination of the human spirit that affords those and any of us stricken by the dark side of nature the ability to see and know the beauty still enabled to emerge each day.

To the fraudulent hucksters of pyrite:

7:14 AM  
Blogger Michelle Henderson said...

Wow! Guess I struck a chord here!

10:23 AM  

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