A Friend? Indeed.
Date Added: Jan. 8, 2001
Normally, friendship chain letters are outside the realm of BreakTheChain.org. Aside from the privacy risks inherent in any e-mail chain letter, they are typically harmless and contain few facts to confirm or claims to debunk. Not content simply being a saccharine-sweet expression of friendship and love, this chain incorporates a couple of tidbits that have people wondering.
LETS SEE IF YOU SEND THIS BACK
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote:
Many people will walk in and out of your life,
To handle yourself, use your head;
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays once, it is his fault;
Great minds discuss ideas;
He who loses money, loses much;
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
Learn from the mistakes of others
Friends, you and me.......You brought another friend....
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery.
It's National friendship week.
Send this to everyone you consider a Friend. If it comes back then you'll know you have a circle of friends.
WHEN YOU RECEIVE THIS LETTER, YOU'RE REQUESTED TO SEND IT TO 10 PEOPLE
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE
Circulating since at least 2000, this one started out as a relatively harmless substitute for personal correspondence. As it circulates, people add things to it to make it more compelling or perhaps justify forwarding it. It is a couple of these additions that have earned this one a pleace in my hall of shame.
The first: Did Eleanor Roosevelt really write these things, or is this just another of the multitude of misattributions on the 'net?
Experience has shown me that we are more likely to forward witty platitudes if we think they came from some well-respected individual. I could find no reputable resource that could convincingly attribute the statements in this letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. A search on Bartleby.com, an Internet publisher of research materials, including the Tenth Edition of Bartletts Familiar Quotations, yielded many quotes from the late first lady, but none of the ones in this message. When I searched for specific lines from the above, I found only copies of the message posted on Web sites and message boards.
The second: Is there really a National Friendship Week and when exactly is it?
Official declarations of special-interest days, weeks and months usually come from legislators, governors or other policy makers. These procamations typically carry no weight and serve only as a backbone on which organizations build some sort of observation or campaign. "National" weeks or days will most likely be declared by the President or members of Congress. Not surprisingly, neither have declared a national recognition of friendship.
Special-interest groups, organizations and individuals can also declare "national" weeks and days if they have access to some medium to promote it, and several greeting card and gift companies sell friendship week products - interestingly, anchored around different times of the year.
The message above isn't dated, so there is no way to know if it was written yesterday or three years ago. Internet searches for "National Friendship Week" yielded many messages like this one with various dates in virtually every month as far back as 1996! Other variants of the "National Friendship Week" message included the story of an Irishman named Fleming; the bank of time, which credits each of us with 86,400 seconds each day; the tale of the boy who was told to pound a nail into the fence each time he felt angry; and the story about how a boy saved another boy from suicide by being a friend when he needed it most.
Heck, if I wanted to, I could declare this week "The National Week of My Left Eyebrow." There's no law and no person keeping me from doing it, all I need is a good public relations campaign. If I send out a poem about my left eyebrow via e-mail and don't date it, it can be the week of my left eyebrow all year long!
On one hand, it is a bit sad that it takes some specially designated week for folks to express their appreciation of their friends. On the other hand, many people will faifully pass on every friendship chain they get. What ever happened to simply writing your friends a heartfelt, personalized letter from time to time? Break this chain.