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Old 11-12-2001, 09:53 PM   #1
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...and the prize for the most manipulative, guilt-filled forward goes to...

So I receive this forward today from a friend of mine. No, I'm not mad at the friend. In fact, it was quite flattering. But, here I am the critic, and am I the only one who thinks this is probably the most manipulative forward ever written?

Oh, and be happy I took out the lines and lines and lines of ">>> >" in this.


One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd."

I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.

My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives." He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.

I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak. Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous.

Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.

He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable." I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.

Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse.

God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others. You now have two choices, you can:

1) Pass this on to your friends or
2) Delete it and act like it didn't touch your heart.

As you can see, I took choice number 1. "Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly." There is no beginning or end..Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift.

It's National Friendship Week. Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND. If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of



Aside from the fact that this forward plays out just like an old sexual fantasy of mine (did I just say that? ), it easily could pass as the sequel for "Pay It Forward," and I thought that was the most manipulative commercial movie of the last decade. My favorite has to be the two choices--basically, the ultimatum--the writer thrusts upon you, and how the only sane option is #1, where thus you must send it to at least 10 people.

Bravo to the writer! Far more effective than the ludicrous forward where Bill Gates is tracking an e-mail sent by Dave Matthews of Dave Matthews Band where Microsoft will donate 15 for every e-mail forwarded to a terminally ill cancer patient named Jessica Hymen (!).

How amused I am tonite, yes?


"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time

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Old 11-12-2001, 10:21 PM   #2
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All was fine until the ultimatum he gives. Maybe someone else added that at the end of the story, not the writer himself.


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Old 11-12-2001, 11:20 PM   #3
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I've received that mail a thousand times. And non of those I've ever replied or forwarded

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Old 11-13-2001, 04:59 PM   #4
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I've gotten that one as well. I'm sure somewhere at somepoint in the universe something vaguely resembling such a story occurred...but c'mon....sentimental who-ha hogwash.

I was that little nerdy kid. Got the shit kicked out of me. The only way I made it was relying on me. And I ended up just fine thank you very much!

I'm sure that you can make a difference. The message behind the story is nice I suppose, but they lay it on a little thick.
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Old 11-14-2001, 11:37 PM   #5
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I've gotten that forward several times as well.

Too sappy and unbelievable for my liking...
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Old 11-15-2001, 07:41 AM   #6
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If so, you'll never get rid of that mail in your life time...
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Old 11-15-2001, 04:49 PM   #7
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Originally posted by christiana:
If so, you'll never get rid of that mail in your life time...
I'd just laugh if there's 2 people who have been sending that thing back and forth for the last 3 years.

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