If, like most folks, you deal with email and its accompanying blessings and cursings, you know that the first step after you open your inbox is to obliterate 90% of it by clearing out a ton of junk and deleting a few nefarious attempts to set a hook in you through phishing.
I’d love to change email addresses to try to buy 30 seconds worth of a cleaner inbox, but my trusty ol’ address is emblazoned on everything from a few thousand music albums to business cards to newsletters to coffee cups to . . . (An AOL address was really cool when I got mine. Cool marches on.) I’ve actually got several addresses, but all get a preponderance of junk and none more than my primary address.
Like you, I’ve long ago learned that anything marked “urgent” isn’t. I know that anything from the FBI isn’t. I know that Dame Nastasia Ambrovada living in exile in Nigeria and sadly short of relatives and heirs really does not want to deposit a million dollars in my account.
Most of us are all too accustomed to the daily task of hacking through our inboxes with DELETE key machetes to whack away stacks of dreary deadwood, knowing that a serpent or two lurking therein will need to be deleted and dispatched as well. But sometimes, I’m still surprised.
This morning, after clearing out the usual mess, I couldn’t help but notice two items. The first, purporting to be from “NFL Cheerleaders,” promised in the subject line that “these cheerleaders will delight your eyes.” “Delight” is not the word I would have used, but I have no doubt that my eyeballs would have been engaged had I chosen to be reeled in by that one. I try to remember that those gals probably have grandpas who’d much prefer that they wear clothes.
Also eye-catching was the exclusive email opportunity to own a bobblehead figurine fashioned after a more or less famous sheriff in Milwaukee. Evidently, the figure is very large by bobblehead norms. And it talks. Since our world is in no short supply of bobbleheads already, and since bobbleheads that talk are never farther away than a button on a TV remote control (C-SPAN is a great place to look if you find yourself in desperate need of a bobblehead), I deleted that offer, too.
Of course, it’s not just email that requires a little literate discernment. Most of us still receive plenty of Spam-equivalent paper via actual mailboxes. What we rarely receive are real letters. Do they still teach letter-writing in school? Lots of folks these days are as likely to write a good letter as they are to pen a treatise discussing alliteration in the Declaration of Independence. If letters, considered antiquated anyway, are far beyond our capability and a 350-word email is unbearably long (and even email is becoming “old school”), and if a twit with no attention span can hardly string together 140 characters cogently and almost never gets closer to opening (or downloading) a book than reading a two-screen text message . . . Well.
But some things don’t change. Whatever we let in our souls via our eyes, and whatever we expound or affirm via our words, written or spoken, says much about the condition of our hearts. By the way, the Apostle Paul recommends some great hashtags in Philippians 4: #WhateverIsTrue, #WhateverIsRight, #WhateverIsNoble, #WhateverIsPure, #WhateverIsPraiseworthy . . .
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Copyright 2017 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.