Hands up who actually likes getting those 'chain post' e-mails in their inbox?
How many of us seriously think "Ooohhh goody... so if I forward this onto nine of my contacts then Good Luck will befall me approximately nine minutes following my hitting the 'send' button - and if I don't, then it's a near certainty that one of my close family members and/or a friend will die.... okay then".
And what if, perchance, you're just on your way to work and you're running late and you don't have time to consider possible repercussions let alone sift through your address book for the nine people you are almost convinced won't, in turn, be mortally offended by this ridiculous threat that assualts them the minute they open their in-box?
What if, say, you've already received some pretty bad news and this is the final small thing that will topple you over the edge of the cliff of sanity you're desperately clinging onto right now?
There should be a Law. It's Hate Mail basically, isn't it? It's a threatening letter only it's sent electronically, as most things these days are. Including one recently which included a 'prayer' if you will! Now I'm all for moving with the times and I did love the part in 'Bruce Almighty' where he received e-mailed prayers from everyone who prayed in the world - but... please? The power of prayer through microchips and wire/less?
Of course, these mails, like anything else we "don't really understand the power of", work. They really do. Because it's a proven fact that if you go around believing good stuff will happen (whether the e-mail tells you or not) then it probably will. You'll have a smile, your heart will be big, your mind open to possibilities and you have the aura of someone to which everything is naturally "drawn". You're a Good Luck Magnet basically. And even if it's only marvelling at the way a bud is opening up on the daffodils or the way a mother thrush stuffs her babys beaks with food, these are all 'Good Things' to the Positive person.
Contrariwise, the Negative person who believes bad luck follows him/her around doesn't need an e-mail to tell him that he will trip over every stone on the pavement, not have an umbrella when it starts to rain, will be late for that urgent meeting and will probably die of a stress-induced heart attack - because he expects bad luck.
In my opinion it is a weak person who feels they have no choice but believe in these things and it is a bully who perpeturates them and inflicts them on others.
Less than four weeks after my father died I received just such a chain-mail from a colleague. Unfortunately my young daughter read it with me and became seriously distressed and sobbed "Does that mean somebody else is going to die now?". When I confronted my colleague about this, after apologising, she added that she'd only sent it to me to 'make up the numbers' anyway... Not nice.
In fact, Blue Peter once got all their viewers to send in their 'chain mail' letters so that they could destroy them on their behalf, proving that, sadly, this is not a new thing. There should still be such an Escape today for those who aren't strong enough to just hit 'delete' and not seriously believe that someone else can dictate what will happen in their life. Belief comes from within, after all. Nobody can give you it or take it away. If you have the strength of mind to believe in yourself, then no amount of coertion, e-mail or otherwise, can shake that faith and if anyone is thinking of sticking me on a 'forward' list then please - think again.
p.s. Of course the jokes and the pictures of daft-looking animals can keep right on coming!