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Forward Thinking

Posted in: Blog by amy on December 3, 2013

How many times have you received one of those motivational or inspiring emails, which instructs you to immediately forward its powerful words to a dozen of your closest friends? I’ve received many, and I have (simultaneously) deleted many. Some of these emails are enlightening as they contain a powerful message of hope, a reminder about forgiveness or even a healthy perspective of the world. And, oftentimes, the people who forward these emails are some of my wiser friends, some of my more introspective peers. So, I wonder: Do these wise, introspective individuals actually read these emails in their entirety?

Oh, how lovely it is to read a beautiful message about love and friendship to then discover at the end of the message that you have been threatened with “ugliness for 10 years.” Yes, that it what the last email I reluctantly opened claimed at its end:


You have been hit…
You have been considered one of the 10 prettiest ladies with a kind,
warm and loving heart. Once you have been hit, you have to hit 10
pretty ladies with kind, warm and loving hearts. 
If you get hit again you know you’re really pretty and kind. 
If you fail to forward this, you’ll have ugliness for 10 years.


Seriously? I will have ugliness for a decade if I don’t forward this email? Am I really one of the lucky ones to have received this obvious marketing ploy from a dear friend of mine (who was clearly innocently naive)? Am I lucky to have received a message about strong women when it ends with an ominous threat? Worse yet, this email is supposed to be forwarded on and on “in memory or in honor of anyone you know who has been struck by cancer.”

Okay. You’ve got to be with me now. This is absolute nonsense. There is no grey area. There are ways to instill passion in others without threatening ugliness. There are many ways to honor strong, courageous women that involve no fear tactics. I’ve received emails that allude to the notion that something horrible will happen (that may even cause my sudden demise) if I break the chain. Wow. This is fun stuff! Can’t wait to delve through my inbox and get one of these again.

So, now, in a strategic yet ironic twist, I ask you this: “PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE” to anyone with whom you wish to share this! And, guess what will happen if you don’t forward this email? NOTHING! Well, you might miss out on some enlightening conversation.

More importantly, I hope that this message encourages you to utilize your power of FORWARD THINKING. Before you casually forward these lovely messages to those whom you respect and adore, make sure you read that which you are sending. I realize that this whole concept stretches much further than forwarded emails. This concept of beauty vs. ugliness — the idea that one must do this or suffer that — is something that flows freely through the veins of many irrational teachings, for example. Extremists are all about the idea of doing something or suffering some tragic fate if you do not. Well, of course, forwarding emails is on a much more “casual” scale. But, doesn’t it make you wonder how foolish we all can be? Doesn’t it make you consider the power of the masses who all blindly follow, forward and send?

I am hopeful that we will become more aware, more present and more conscious of that which we read, that which we forward, that which we believe, that which we share and that way in which we have the power to influence each other and ultimately the world.

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One Response to “Forward Thinking”

  1. Judy Kaplan says:

    Amy, As always, you take the everyday occurrence and cull a lesson from it. Well said, well done! I so agree with you – how about mindful communication!

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