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Ball and Chain Letters - Release Us!

If you use email, you have received a chain letter of some kind. It’s a fact. Tens of thousands of them are circulated every day. They come in all colors, shapes, causes and emotions. Some seem to be ...

If you use email, you have received a chain letter of some kind. It’s a fact. Tens of thousands of them are circulated every day. They come in all colors, shapes, causes and emotions. Some seem to be charity based, some claim to work with prayer, some will bring good luck; while others promise a windfall of cold hard cash.Your spam blocker doesn’t always filter them… because they often come from your best friend… or your aunt… or your neighbor who never really emails you.

And recently, the ones I have received in my personal inbox begin with something like:“I’m so sorry, I hate these things… but you just NEVER KNOW!…”

Somewhere in the back of my mind, somewhere sandwiched between my frantic to-do list and what I’m writing about next… a little voice says “yes, I guess you just NEVER KNOW…” and I go to forward it. Hm…what is the least amount of people I can get away with forwarding THIS one to? Scroll…. Scroll… scroll…How many will it take just to make sure that I won’t have 7 years of bad luck? Scroll… scroll… scroll… Sorry Mom… but, I know you’ll still love me….

Well today, I am declaring that I have forwarded my last chain letter! I am getting to the bottom of this madness, for myself… and attempting to release us all from this silly superstitious madness.

I don’t even consider myself a superstitious person. I have always liked #13… and I say “good luck” back stage at the theater. I strive to explore the spiritual flow of the universe and the power of the natural world. So, WHY CAN’T I HIT DELETE?

Superstition: An irrational belief -- i.e., one held in spite of evidence to the contrary -- usually involving supernatural forces and associated with rituals.

Oh… ok. That’s it. I have to admit… I do believe in supernatural forces. That’s the loophole. There’s the glimmer of hope… or fear… that what that little email says may be true. But, really… supernatural forces coming to me in cyber space? I have yet to hear of any supernatural miracle happening over a computer screen. Have we heard of anyone dying a freakish death because they didn’t forward the “friendship poem”?

On Rutgers University’s extensive chain letter debunking site, they have a clear and simple explanation of why the ever popular, constantly circulated "Dave Rhodes chain letter" won’t work. It begins with an honest, well-written testimonial and ends with the promise of a lot of money if you’ll just mail $5 cash to several addresses listed below. It’s intriguing and heck… what do you have to lose? $5? For the possibility of thousands in return? But, they systematically break the proposed idea down for you… ultimately proving there aren’t enough people in the mail system to even support the numbers. And besides, wouldn’t this guy be on the "Donnie Deutsch Big Idea Show" if it really worked? IT DOESN’T and IT CAN’T.

So, it’s back to just pure superstition. The slim hope of a winning lotto ticket; combined with a little guilt… like if I don’t pass on the story of the little boy dying of cancer. Wait a minute… didn’t I read about him last year?

Thanks to the people at for setting up a "chain letter graveyard". Next time you get one, look it up. It’s probably been sent there to die with the other works of fiction. It’s a hobby and for some apparently an adrenaline rush to start these letters and see how widespread they will circulate. The web providers hate them and label them vandals, as they jam up cyber space and resources.

If you still need more solid ground to turn away from the chain letter… think about what you could do with the time you spend reading and forwarding. 

Consider these 5 minute ideas:

- Learn a new word at

- Call a friend and just say “Hi.. I’m thinking about you”

- Save even more time by making your grocery list

- Drink a glass of water

- Do an energizing body stretch

- Water your plants

- Donate with a click: at worthwhile charity sites such as

Or if you just can’t bring yourself to delete itArticle Search, if you simply have to forward it… how about taking the time to change the bottom of the letter to something like:  “You already have 250 friends who love you” or“something fantastic is about to happen to you no matter what you do” and help release us all from these ball and chain letters! 

Source: Free Articles from


I am a professional artist and artist coach.  I have set up a website as a resource for the creative community.  I offer free articles, stories and online coaching for creative personal development.  www.creative-personal-development.comEveryone is creative... it is you who creates your life!

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