Thank you – to one of my readers

I don’t check my emails from this blog often enough. For that, I apologize. I’ll try to remember to add that to my daily routine in hopes to respond in a more timely manner. Typically, when I receive an email it is just a quick little piece thanking me for something I’ve written or someone sharing their personal story with me wanting to tell me how they can connect with me on one of the subjects I’ve written about. This email though, it was a little different. I received this email on October 23rd from “a friend”. The email address that was provided tells me this was from “Beth”. I’m not sure if this was her or not though. Anyway, this is what the email said:

“The endless archives of nothing that you have recorded on here…. my nose is bleeding. That may come off as a jerk thing to say but, man, who cares? And by now you have said, “F*CK THIS GUY” haha. Ego is all powerful… I wish I could figure out how to stop people from thinking that they are great. That they are above or that they are the most important thing in the world.

Well-the reason why I stopped to write this was to just retort your point that we are a degrading society. I hardily disagree. The increase mal-usage of grammar or higher frequency of poor spelling is no bellwether of a society. I encourage you to replace one of the stupid filler items in your bucket list with “buy a reader’s digest from the 30’s and read it” you will be taken aback to find the “common problems” that WE are afflicted with STILL existed back then. My point is that nothing changes. Why, John, do you LOATHE bad grammar? at the root of it all? I posit that you hate the things you hate for one reason. You demand comfort. Like all people “you just want to be comfortable” You put that pet peeve at the top of the page. Why. To effect change! It is in vain of course. Your ranting soothes your ego. Foolishly, and probably subconsciously, hoping that the forceful words you have posted sends waves to all fellow man, and jars them from their ways…and finally, you can easily read a damn email in comfort. Do you scream at cars that cut you off? I am sure you have. Calling them out on their poor driving while pointing with an upturned palm? Why? To, in vain, change the things that make you uncomfortable.

I don’t know if that’s you, arms crossed in black, but I assume it is. That picture is why I sent this. I feel that I connected with you. I felt pain, that you cannot feel, because your mind is making too much noise. I do not wish for to change your desire for comfort, but what I do wish for you to do is to find it. Staring at my keyboard I had a feeling to just X this window. I wrote the word “in vain” several times above and it has crossed my mind that I should spoon my own medicine. But I don’t know why, but maybe you will think about my words.

Ego, is why you are always mad, upset, and why you are currently cursing me. A locomotive has started, barely able to continue reading, while furiously chomping at the bit to “tell me off” you probably have rehearsed this mentally a few times by now. Please, please know that I am not attacking you. It just feels that way.

Your mind has control over you, like all people. You are not who you think you are. You are a caring, and considerate person, underneath your mind or called the EGO.

Your bucket list is full. Mostly uncrossed. Why? Because life’s busy? When you finally get there you’ll be happy? Pfft. Get going on it. NOW is the only reality. All future, happens in the now-later on… the past all happened in the now -a while ago. There IS no past, there IS no future. And if this is true there IS no time.

I am doing a terrible job at this. I am trying to convey help, however unwarranted. If you are still reading, buy one more book, buy the book called “the power of now” Please read it. I was like you. Someone found me. And put a tattered copy of that book in my luggage. That vacation changed my life. I am happy and complete.”

My reply:

Thank you, “Beth”, for not only taking the time to read at least some of my blog, but also for your email. I just want to say again, I am sorry for not checking my email sooner so I could have replied in a quicker fashion. I thoroughly enjoyed your email and found myself chuckling several times while I was reading along. I especially enjoyed your commentary on what you thought may have been going through my mind. I find it intriguing that you think you know me well enough by my writings to surmise what thoughts may have been going through my head. I’m sorry to inform you, however, you were incorrect. Never once did I find myself thinking “F*CK THIS GUY”.

That said, I will allow you a glimpse into my mind. Please, allow me to share my thoughts with you (and any of the other 150-200 readers per day my blog receives). First, I enjoyed your writing style. It was not only amusing, but also wildly entertaining. I think you and I could have long conversations about virtually nothing if ever we were to meet. I would even buy you a cinnamon roll from a place down here while we discussed worldly events. If for nothing else, to be entertained by your views and opinions – which I wholeheartedly value. But please, get that nose bleed under control.

I will agree with you that ego is a powerful thing. However, I am one of the least egotistical people you will ever meet. I am fraught with insecurities just like any normal person. The reason for my blog was to share my life experiences with friends and family who enjoy reading about them. Little did I know that several more people would follow along with my journey and be able to take something from it. I am pleased that there are so many people whom my blog reaches on a daily basis though. It provides me with an audience for some of my shenanigans. I would love to thank all of my readers personally, but many of them, much like yourself, remain anonymous. Rarely does anyone comment on anything I write about. And those who do are some of my dearest friends.

As for your disagreeing on my point of our devolving society due to the inability to effectively communicate – thank you for weighing in on that topic. I do not know who you are or where you come from, but I can assure you that you are not one of the people I was referring to when I wrote that. You are a writer, or at least a well educated (or well read) individual who clearly has a respect for our English language, much like myself. I find myself cringing when I see posts on Facebook or when I receive text messages that are riddled with poor grammar, improper spelling, or miss usage of common words. Words like “to”, “too”, and “two” – “your” and “you’re” – “their”, “there”, and “they’re” are used incorrectly far too often. When it comes to written communication it is important to also use punctuation. Since inflection cannot be read, it is nice to know if someone is telling you something or asking you a question. It seems so simple to be able to take a little time to effectively communicate what it is you’re trying to say; yet for some reason that simply escapes some people. That is why it is one of my pet peeves. Do I overlook it? Yes – quite often in fact. Does it still frustrate me? Absolutely.

Perhaps it is comfort I seek at the root of it all. I want to know that I am receiving the message that someone is trying to send…the way it was intended. I do not like trying to decipher a message that could have been conveyed to me with it’s original context intact simply because someone was too lazy to include proper spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Again, I must thank you for including proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation in your email to me. I was not only able to receive your message the way I’m assuming you intended it to be received, but I was also able to do so comfortably and with some entertainment value. Thus leading me to not be infuriated and think, “F*CK THIS GUY”.

I have never actively thought about calling out drivers for their poor driving. But now that you mention it, I have done the upturned palm thing while rhetorically questioning other drivers. Knowing full well that they cannot hear me. I’m not sure that it’s an ego thing though. That verbalizing of my feelings did, I’m sure, make me feel a little better about the given situation at that point in time.

I don’t know that I’ll replace any of my “stupid filler” bucket list items with your proposed change. But I will tell you what I’ll do, I’ll add that to the bottom of my list. Not because you encouraged me to, but to try to see things from your point of view. Thank you for that enlightenment. I’ll try to get that done sooner rather than later.

Your assumption about my picture atop my blog is correct. That is a photograph of me. It was taken quite some time ago and I intend on changing it once I am able to have another one taken that is similar to that one. I do believe that I will retain the crossed arms pose, but perhaps I’ll add a smile as opposed to that scowl on my face. A smile would be a much better representation of myself – especially at this point in my life.

I don’t feel attacked by you. Nor do I feel angry or upset most days. My days are filled with laughter and joy with the occasional hiccup that life seems to provide for us. Those hiccups though, those aren’t things that upset me anymore. I take each one of them in stride and learn something from it. I am always looking for the silver lining hidden within those “bad” days. When you actively seek the good, you will always find it. Or at least that’s been my experience.

My mind does not have control over me. I know, you’re probably surprised by now that you also assumed that one incorrectly. I allow my heart to lead me quite often. In doing so, I do tend to use my wits to keep me in check. If we all followed our heart without using some sort of intelligent power, we would most likely all be failures to some degree. Again, I’m going to have to disagree with you about this being directly related to my ego. I do not feel any grandeur. I do not think I am any better than any other person. I just simply try to live the life I want to live – always in pursuit of my happiness. I hope that you can do the same thing without feeling guilty about your “ego” taking over.

You are correct about my bucket list being full and mostly uncrossed. Why? Again, I don’t think it has anything to do with my ego. But I know what I can realistically afford to do at this point in my life. I agree that we should live in the “now”. But I’m also a realist and know that I can’t just pack my bags today to go spend time in the Peruvian jungle. Nor can I just hop on a plane to visit half the places I wish to visit someday. Having dreams and aspirations, goals, is what keeps us alive. If we always did what we wanted to do, the exact moment we wanted to do, I’m sure life would be exciting. But then what would we do tomorrow? What would we aspire to do later? Is it not good to have goals? Should we not always seek some kind of adventure?

Regarding the book “The Power of Now”. Sure, I’ll buy it and give it a read. I’m always looking for new good books to read. Unless of course you are the author of the book. In which case you should send me a signed copy. I’ll provide you with my shipping address. If you are the author, and you do send me a copy, I promise I’ll read it. I just hope you know it’ll be read with a fine tooth comb. I will be looking for grammatical and spelling errors, so I hope you had an excellent editor. I say that mostly in jest.

To wrap this up, since brevity has never been a strong suit of mine, I just want to thank you again for taking time to read my blog. I also thank you for taking time to send  me an email. I really do read them all and I reply to every one of them. I like connecting with people, especially when we can all learn from one another. I encourage you to reply here or if you feel so inclined you can email me back. Either way is fine with me.


About John Shue

Just a normal guy in pursuit of happiness.
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2 Responses to Thank you – to one of my readers

  1. Sr Shue says:

    Good for you son, you are a better man than I.

  2. Jess says:

    Wow. This is crazy! I wouldn’t have bothered to defend myself. I would probably just say “thanks, feel free to unfollow.” I’m glad you wrote back this guy “Beth” if it made you feel better but your email was an effort he/she didn’t deserve.

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