Funny, isn't it....

It started with an email pass-along I first received a couple of years ago and promptly deleted. It was a request to sign a petition in support of  human rights on behalf of women in Afghanistan. Perhaps you've also received such a note?

Well, counting myself to be among the most savvy of surfers, I figured it to be a hoax and ignored it. But rarely a month went by without me getting the same email (but always from a different source), over and over again.

Then, the other day, this petition came to my Inbox again by way of my eldest daughter. Well.....

I did a Search on the subject, and came up with several Websites that confirmed the tale: 

www.feminist.org/afghan/intro

www.wapha

afghan.rawa.org/rawa

Feeling outraged at the human atrocity (and feeling a bit proud that my daughter did too), and finding no reference to support my initial idea that the petition was bogus, I immediately set about to re-distribute it to a (rather long) list of friends. 

Several of them wrote back.

They explained that the situation described in the petition is all too real, but that the petition itself will do absolutely no good. They recommended two other Websites for my perusal:

urbanlegends.about.com/science/urbanlegends/sitesearch

www.snopes2.com/inboxer/petition/afghani

Also, one woman who researched the subject rather extensively wrote: 

"What can be done is to contact your congressman and tell him or her all of this and then from there it will go... to the United Nations in Britain.  That is where the action takes place. So really, send a written document with signatures or call your congressman."

Anyway, that's the tale of my embarrassment. I mean really, with me being a journalist and editor, I should have known to dig deeper before passing this time-wasting petition along.

But at the same time, in retrospect, maybe it's okay -- what I did. That is, if my errant pass-along helped make even one more person aware of the liberty and freedom that we take so easily for granted here in the U.S.A. while at the same time there is a very real deprivation of human rights being perpetrated upon far too many peoples of the world... 

Or maybe I'm just salving my ego. 

In either case, I learned something wonderful about my daughter and I'm choosing to forgive myself for tripping over the invisible umbilical cord that connects us -- even though I have to eat this huge piece of humble pie because of it.

So now, I'm praying for the deliverance of all peoples, everywhere to that land of milk and honey called Honor & Respect. (And I'm also praying for an end to useless emails.)

:-)

Christine (editor & parent)