Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wellness Wednesday and a Question for Readers

On Wednesdays, I usually post some type of health-related information that I hope will help some reader improve his or her health.  However, this morning, as I opened my email inbox, I was greeted by an email from a family member.  Thinking it might be an update on some family-related issue, I opened it, only to be greeted by the most hate-filled Islamophobic message I've ever seen.   To make matters worse, I realized it was actually a response forwarded by a close member of my family.  My entire body reacted to this message - I felt stressed, ill, tense - all kinds of things that are bad for my health.  I wanted to retaliate, to show both of my relatives how wrong they were, to site facts and figures.  But in the end, I realized that they don't want to know.  Haters just want to hate.

So my question is how should one respond to such hate-filled messages?


EcoGrrl said...

I call them on it. Too many people in this world think that it should just be ignored which to me is total crap. I don't care if it's a stranger or my flesh & blood, if we say nothing, we are saying it's OK. The point is not to try to change their minds but to tell them, what you are saying is not only hateful and offensive, but ignorant and uneducated. (I don't have relationships with certain people in my family because of their hateful behaviors because in my opinion, DNA isn't a reason for tolerance). :)

Renaissance Teacher said...

I agree that it shouldn't be ignored. Silence oftentimes implies complicity. I believe we are accountable, not only for whatever hatred we have in our own heart, but also how we respond to the hatred of others. While we may or may not change another person's opinions, we can (and should) let them know that certain thoughts, certain words, and certain actions are unacceptable. I am curious why someone would forward such a message to you. Surely anyone who knows you would know that you don't support such thinking. Was this person perhaps just as horrified as you, unsure how to respond, and hoped you would have the courage to speak up? That's probably where I would begin - by asking the other person why he or she forwarded the message to you in the first place.

Cherie said...

Thank you to EcoGrrl and Renaissance Teacher for your advice. I did respond to the person in a loving way but let them know that such emails were wrong and harmful. I'm certain the person was not horrified because of the additional she comments made about the email. I also recommended the book The Faith Club as a way for her to gain a better understanding of people who practice other religions.

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

I would let this person know that you do not share these views and ask them to stop forwarding any additional e-mails of this ilk. My mother is going through this very thing with a family member who seemed to get enjoyment pushing her buttons & she had to have a face-to-face talk with him about stopping to e-mails.