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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8 thoughts on “On Shortening Your Sentence

  1. I do the same thing on twitter. You can imagine some of things people say. I always take a minute before I respond (because if I didn’t, you KNOW what I’m capable of). It’s not always easy but it sure does feel better a few days later. xo

  2. I love the last line from Kiplings “If”. If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run, yours is the earth and everything in it and what is more, you’ll be a man, my son.”

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