Thought For The Day
When someone comes to you and says they’re from the Planet Gortair and they’re excited to visit your planet. Don’t argue with them. Simply respond: “Greetings and welcome to Earth. As a duly appointed representative from our planet, I would like to invite you to a tour of one of our finer medical facilities.” It beats wrestling them to the ground. – (thanks to Night Court for that approach).
Answering eMail From Visitors
Anyone who has a blog or website that provides a method for receiving communication is opening a door to some wonderful exchanges of ideas and thoughts. But sometimes, the communications aren’t so kind or in some cases are totally off the wall.
One thing that happens when you run a business or educational website is that you get a lot of emails from people who simply aren’t all there. I’m sure it happens to all types of businesses or educational websites. But I know for sure it happens to sites with a spiritual context. I’ve been building websites since the early days of the internet when only a handful of corporations had a web presence. I was fortunate to work at a corporation that was interested in innovation. Being in IT Research and Development in that corporate career, when this web thing came across my desk I jumped at it.
Nearly 20 years ago I established my first website and focused on pagan information sharing. That site evolved into PagansPath.com which has been receiving visitations since 1997. I’ve gotten mail. Lots of mail. Adding Spring’s Haven and now Springwolf Reflections, has expanded the range of visitors and thus the communications I receive. Sometimes it takes a little time to respond to all that email, but I do eventually get to it. And I have honestly seen all kinds of topics from the outlandish to seriously personal and the down right unbelievably explicit.
Now as a licensed Minister of my faith, I also take great reverence in how I handle these emails. Each one is private and I keep them that way as much as possible. Every now and then someone will ask a tough question that I’m not sure how to answer. If I can’t research an answer, I have one person in my life that I trust implicitly who I can bounce ideas off; my husband. But even then, someone who has set them self up as a spiritual adviser, coach or counselor still needs to be aware of and consider the privacy of the individuals who do contact them. For instance I might say to my husband, I received an email today that asks this, never revealing the name of the individual. Nor would I forward an email to him or anyone else unless I was concerned for the safety of someone. There are legal requirements for reporting abuse and certain forms of criminal activity in my state. Thankfully I’ve never been faced with those types of emails. …..But I digress.
With an internet presence and supplying a method for people to communicate with you, there are also times when you get emails from people who have some outlandish ideas and concepts and after visiting your site. They want to share those ideas with you, thinking you will agree with their point of view. Answering emails for people like this can always be tricky. You don’t want to offend them, because the alien from Gortair might try to show up on your door step and conduct mind experiments on your tushy.
The best thing to do in these cases is to simply say something like:
“That’s an interesting approach. I believe that…” and then state your view on the topic. By responding this way, you’re not offending the writer, you’re not putting them on guard to defend their view, and most importantly you’re not compromising your personal perspectives or integrity either. If they respond, you might be in a better position to assess their needs and if required, you might be able to contact someone in their area to check in on them.
Most of the time, however they’ll never respond to your reply. Over a 20 year period of communicating with people, there are only a few individuals who have responded to me but those conversations have ended quickly. But those that do reply will try to convince you that your approach is wrong and you need to come Gortair and see how things really are. They’ll pick you up at the local high school football field in their rocket ship. Be ready. But even they will eventually lose interest when they discover you won’t step onto the battlefield and argue with them.
Of course there are times when you really want to tell an idiot that they’re an idiot. My outlet for that is my husband who I’m often in IMs with during the day. I can tell him someone said this to me and then share my honestly deep seeded brutally honest thought with him..and get it out of my system first. Then I can respond to the Gortarian with kind compassion. If you don’t have an outlet like this for your email, consider writing your response in a local word document or in notepad on your PC. Get it out of your system first. Maybe save the context of the emails and what you really want to say to that person. Who knows, you may find a record of those communications helpful one day.
But by all means, never answer an email when you’re in a bad mood and likely to say something that might damage your reputation or your integrity as a minister, healer or teacher. It’s better to close the correspondence and simply wait till another day when you have released your anger or frustration and can reply in calm compassion. You’ll be glad you did in the long run.
It’s not only those who may be confused that you may need to deal with when you follow a religion that isn’t accepted. Even when you live in a country like the U.S. where the freedom of religion is a Constitutional right.
- What To Do With Intolerance – Taking The Bait Or Rising Up Against Intolerance