When I first put together
this web site, I did so without knowing for certain which direction I wanted to go with it. Mostly, it was a means by
which I could share some of the knowledge I've gained through more than 50 years of life, but in addition I was hoping to
lift people's spirits with my observations about God and prayer; hence the site's title, Laura's Inspirational Pages.
So I filled the site
with words of wisdom, stories, and sayings, some original, some obtained from other sources. Then I got sidetracked for
many months, working on my other web sites, most of which deal with oldies music. By doing so I brought people together and made friends out of strangers, and I will forever be grateful for the fact that
I've made a difference in people's lives. Music and humor bring joy to people, and I try to spread both through my sites.
Yet I'd been quietly
agonizing over the fact that Laura's Inspirational Pages were being neglected. True, they can stand as they are, but I'd been
thinking that I should periodically update and expand the site, continuing to add content and links whenever I come across
something I feel is important enough to be shared with the world.
And here I come to one
of my pet peeves. I'm sure many of you reading these pages have gotten those "chain" emails from well-meaning friends and
coworkers. The kind that are continually in circulation because they promise that a wish will come true if you forward
the email to x number of people within x number of hours. And, conversely, if you delete the message without passing
it on, you will face all manner of bad luck.
This is bad enough but
what really gets to me are those who use the Name of God or Jesus, and imply (or state baldly) that if you don't forward the
message to everyone you know, you're less than a good human being or you don't believe in God. After all, the email continues,
we all forward jokes without thinking twice, and if we can do that then we should be ashamed for not forwarding this one.
The sad part is, many
of these emails contain beautiful, inspirational messages that lift my spirits instantly, at least until I get to the last
paragraph. And this is when, people, I do what I do with ANY email, whether humorous or serious, that tries to manipulate
me or make me feel guilty ... I delete it. That's right. I refuse to continue the chain by forwarding such nonsense to
my friends. I will not make them feel that they're going to go to Hell unless they hit their forward button.
I was like most people
for awhile; I was afraid to break the chain, fearful that something terrible would happen to me if I did so. Of course,
the emails also preyed on my hopes and dreams; if I counted to ten and made a wish, and then forwarded the email to ten people,
my wish would come true in ten days. Well, over the years I've gotten, and forwarded, many such emails, and I'm still
waiting for those wishes to come true!
If I did not get my
wish by forwarding the email as instructed, then how can I believe that the opposite is true, that bad things will happen
to me if I DON'T forward them? Common sense tells me that something's wrong with that equation.
Then, a few days ago
as I'm writing this, I had what I call a "DUH!" moment. We've all had them, I think, when the obvious jumps right up
in front of your face waving its arms and yelling your name. WHY was I deleting the emails when, as I said, many of them
had wonderful stories to tell? Why didn't I just copy the text and place it here, on Laura's Inspirational Pages? After
all, I'd been thinking I should keep adding content.
Many of the pages on this site are a result of that
epiphany; that is, they are copied and pasted from forwarded emails. Other pages I wrote myself. As soon as time permits,
I'm going to create a site map that breaks the pages down into two categories: Original and Non-Original. This should be done
within the next few months (it's November, 2012 as I write this paragraph). One quick rule of thumb—if there are Facebook
and Twitter buttons at the bottom of the page content, it was written by me. Thank you so much for visiting Laura's Inspirational