Share This If You Are Susceptible to Emotional Blackmail

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2015-01-11 – Did you ever get one of these on Facebook? “I love my Mom. Share this if you love your Mom!” Did you share it?

There are lots of these. “Do you love your Dad?” “Do you love your son?” “Do you love your daughter?” There’s lots of “Do you love your aunt?” Not too many “Do you love your uncle?” Lots of “Do you love your spouse.” A few “Do you know someone with cancer who needs support?” And plenty of “I need a hug.”

Then there’s “Do you love Jesus? Share if you do.” I haven’t seen any “Do you love the Prophet?” But I suppose they exist. And then there’s the ever-popular “Are you one with everything? Share if you are one with everything.”

If you do, you’re a hot dog. (Get it? A hot dog with “everything” is “one with everything”! I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea.)

Do you share these? I don’t. Oh sure, there’s the moment of hesitation when you think, “Sure I love my wife, won’t she be sad if I don’t share this.” Then you think, “Nah!” and click on something else. Either I don’t love the people in my life enough to share a pre-made sentiment on my Facebook page, or I’m not really susceptible to emotional blackmail.

I have two types of Facebook friends who share these.

One type is just so earnest and guileless that they don’t see the self-serving whininess in these posts. The other type is more interested in people thinking they love their family than in actually loving them. I’ll leave you to figure out which one you are. When you do, be sure to share the result. Sorry, there’s no quiz.

I’m reminded of a song from Fiddler on the Roof, where Tevya sings:

(Tevye)
Do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I what?

(Tevye)
Do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I love you?
With our daughters getting married
And this trouble in the town,
You’re upset, you’re worn out,
Go inside, go lie down!
Maybe it’s indigestion…

I’ve always felt that this is the trouble with our politics. People are more interested in being seen holding a belief than in actually acting on it. You can always be more extreme when it’s just a pose.

Sorry for getting heavy on you there. It’s just a thought. If you think it’s worth something, be sure to share it.

(Tevye)
Then you love me?

(Golde)
I suppose I do

(Tevye)
And I suppose I love you too

(Both)
It doesn’t change a thing
But even so
After twenty-five years
It’s nice to know.

Don’t forget to share this, now.

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