On Shortening Your Sentence

Lately I’m haunted by my every unkindness. Just haunted…

Somebody said that’s what Hell was: realizing at the end of your life how many people you hurt while you sashayed through life think mainly of yourself.

I received an email two weeks ago, one of those ‘forwards’ – about how the President was a secret Muslim terrorist. I got so worked up reading it I actually felt the blood billowing in my temples. AND I almost did what I had just seen done by somebody in an organization with which I am affiliated. That person, on receiving a negative mass email about how screwed our country is shot back with the following:  He wrote “Pleases stops needing these blaming and shaming emails. I do not read them and I do not wish to see them in my inbox – Which was OK I guess except that he when he wrote this he clicked ‘Reply to All’ instead of the simply “Reply’, so that the very thing he was objecting to he did himself; that is he shamed and blamed the person who sent him the email.

So when I received my Obama-is- a-terrorist email the very next day I and discovered that I too was on the brink of making a harsh reply I instead took a long breath and wrote only that the email was upsetting to me and I hope he could take me off the list of people he sent such emails to.

He wrote right back. “Terry,” he said. “I am sorry. It will not happen again.”

I found this answer so sweet, but I guess four or five days went by before I could acknowledge it.

When I did I said. ““That’s Ok Don. Thanks for writing back :-)” adding the smiley face just because it is so hard in electronic communication to signify real intent. I wanted to be sure he understood I had no hard feelings.

I wrote that email the night before last.

First thing yesterday morning he wrote me a final again and do you know what it said?

It said “You made my day. I did not want to upset you. Thanks for your reply. It means a lot…”

So there it is:  If all we have to do to make a person’s day is be a little thick-skinned and NOT fire back harsh words, well heck: I ought to be able to do that. And I ‘m going to do that from now on, and shorten the list of things I have to regret when I’m working off my debts in the Afterlife.


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