Remember “chain letters?”
They were an absolute scourge back in my youth. You’d be minding your own business, listening to a record when out of the blue you’d get a letter basically threatening you to make ten copies, add your name to the bottom (or was it the top?) of the list, buy stamps, get envelopes, address them all and forward to ten of your friends in two days or else some horrible fate, featuring death of some kind, would befall you or your innocent loved ones.
Some chain letters had a “religious” overtone to them, others demanded you send money. I tossed those suckers into the trash can every single time I received one. If I wanted pen-pals from all over the world, I’d choose them on my own thank-you very much. There is a defense mechanism structurally embedded in my soul that rises up when I am pressured and told I must say – or do – or send – or pay – OR ELSE. This was nothing more than socially accepted bullying with a whiff of blackmail tucked in for good measure. Not only did I HATE being harassed like that, it would make me super annoyed at the “friend” who (in fear?) sent the chain letter on to me!
I’d like to believe we permanently closed to door on the entire concept of forcing people to do things we want them to do or else… but sadly I think we’ve just ditched the stamps.
Originally posted in 2017.