|Think Fast, and Pray!|
(1/31/2003) E-mail is popular for grassroots protests and demonstrations because it allows anyone to quickly and easily get word to many using a simple chain letter. However, experience has shown that campaigns like this one are dismally ineffective.
The first question readers ask me about this one is "is it valid?" Well, it's valid in the sense that someone got the idea and decided to take advantage of the speed and broad reach of an e-mail chain letter to share it with the world and drum up support.
A day of fasting and prayer would certainly be a strong symbolic gesture if it gets noticed. But as long as the only sponsorship it has is an anonymously authored and haphazardly forwarded chain letter, it's likely to slip right under the radar. Even when they get the attention of the national media (as in the case of any of the numerous attempts to boycott fuel companies to lower prices), e-mail based campaigns consistently fail to gather sufficient support to be noticed.
Since what this chain is asking has more of a spiritual pay-off than a financial one, the measure of its success is a personal one and harder to pinpoint. Those who believe in it will feel that it is effective if even a handful of people participate. Others will feel that it will never be worth the effort and personal sacrifice. It's really a matter of faith.
I would never presume to tell anyone how to express their faith or when to pray or not, but don't assume "all your friends and family" will be happy to receive this chain letter. When matters of faith are involved, reactions to chain letters vary greatly. Some who have asked me about this one are impressed by it, others are annoyed and still others are disturbed by it. As with all chain letters, it's best to make sure your friends want to receive chains like this from you. This small gesture will go a long way to breaking the chain.
Category: Armchair Activism