E-mail forwards given a different meaning in a time like this

If there's one type of forwarded e-mail that grows old quickly, it's chain letters.

You know, the ones where if you get all the way to the bottom, they tell you to send them to so many people to receive good luck or free rabbits or whatever. I do read through many of them because some are funny, some are sincere and some actually do come with rabbits. There are plenty that tell extremely good stories, parables almost, and I have saved many of those. If you are used to getting those forwards, you've probably seen them, but if not, just check your junk mail or wait a couple minutes.

Many of the ones I listed strongly encourage people to make sure you tell people how you truly feel before it's too late. The only problem is you really never know when it will be too late. The catastrophic events that occured Tuesday made everyone think about these things. Some people say everything happens for a reason, but I cannot imagine a great number of people benefitting from the enormous loss of lives. In a situation like this people want to help, but there isn't a whole lot we can do.

You should always help someone in need. But you know, I think all of us are in need of something. Not necessarily in need of money or food or shelter, but in need of hope, love and nourishment. Everyone seeks happiness, and while some find it easily, others spend their lives missing out on it.

When I'm in a helpless situation, I turn to coloring. It's extremely relaxing and gives one a chance to reflect on life in general. Even still, it's difficult to relax while continually watching the destruction over and over on TV. Working out is another good stress reliever, but I don't recommend bringing your coloring book to the gym.

So far, it seems as if the majority of the world is turning to mourn the victims and pay tribute to the greatest country on the planet. Being someone who has been a patriot from the beginning (birthdate: July 4, 1976), I can tell you that it's not just the United States anymore. Society as a whole will have to defeat this evil. The terrorists have stirred up paranoia in hopes of possibly turning everyone against each other, and that is something we have to take into concern.

Also, it has been said that we cannot let hatred overcome us in a situation like this. Any hatred or dislike of anything seems trite compared to Tuesday's events. I'm still mostly in shock by the pictures I've seen. I cannot imagine anyone hating humanity so much as to do something so destructive. But it does make me step back and look at anything that has ever made me mad or disgusted and realize it definitely could be worse.

You don't have to be helpless in this situation at all. You may not be able to make a difference directly to those in New York or Washington D.C., but you can make a difference to those in your own lives. You can tell them that you truly care about them and will forever, no matter what they do in life. You can stick together with the rest of the country, and most of the world, when the answer to this mess is taken. You should do it now because there may not be another chance.

I've already seen a couple of e-mailed forwards about the tragedy and wonder how many will follow suit. I will continue to read them, for now. People may even encourage you to send them to others for good luck, but I'm guessing people will have more sense to think they need good luck. If you are reading this, you have already been fortunate enough to get this far on earth. And if you continue to supply hope, love and nourishment to others, you will attain the happiness you've always wanted.