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  1. #41
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Are the people in this thread kidding?? I wish my childhood bullies would send me an "I realize I was a jerk, sorry" letter. I would respond to say "Thanks" and to put the past behind us. Would probably not build a friendship with him, trust doesn't flip 180 degrees like that, but everyone makes mistakes, and some realize those mistakes over time and feel sorry about wronging others. So, that would boost my impression of him, and enable me to give him more benefit of the doubt where I hadn't before.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  2. #42
    Senior Member AzulEyes's Avatar
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    Well- my reaction is multi-fold I guess!

    First- seems sincere (even if it's wacky)
    Second- he is repenting. I cannot rip on someone repenting for past wrong-doings. Many people walking this planet do not have the balls to admit they have done people wrong. I commend him for this.
    Third- Great that this dude is happy in his Christ-filled religion
    Fourth- He is an extremist/zealot and not approaching this right (sigh)

    You don't send letters like this to people who don't see your religion as you do. (I have my views on religion that are pretty heavy. I would never craft a letter with those personal spiritual sentiments and send them to everyone and their brother.)

    If a letter was a must for him- fine- he could have simplified it with, "I have found my spiritual path- as such- I am reaching out to people in my past to atone for any past wrong doings." Keep it brief.

    Ahhhhhh social protocol and etiquette. Some people just are dense in this area. Trust me- I have a close relative that is now born again- and I want to clock him in the chin.
    It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings

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  3. #43
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Maybe it's an AA thing?
    I once had a letter similar to this from someone on step 9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    I noticed a lot of people are being very cynical about this guy. I mean it must have been a big breakthrough for him, and possibly an embarrassment to write, so maybe his formal tone is awkwardness at finally being humble and sensitive rather than insincerity.

    I don't think his choice of religion makes his epiphany any less sincere. It's certainly an improvement over being an unrepentent bully with an empty faith.

    *shrug*
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    "Thank you for the thoughtful and kind note you sent. You can let your mind rest easy in regards to me - no harm done. I think you are and have always been a good person. Take good care of yourself.
    Warmest regards,
    I don't think he should lie in response. He clearly doesn't think that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    My response to him was a mixture of these two suggestions. :P
    Or maybe he doesn't care about being truthful...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    I didn't respond to him for him. I responded for me. Regardless of his intentions, it's not every day you are granted the opportunity to take the moral high ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    I don't want to ignore this. It seems like an opportunity to make an impact on someone - positive or negative.
    Quite honestly, I don't know why you think you have the moral high ground here. Your motivations appear less than benevolent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  4. #44
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Send a tickle-me Elmo and a picture of myself naked.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  5. #45
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I don't think he should lie in response. He clearly doesn't think that.
    Yeah, I guess that could be a lie, but when I posted it I didn't think it was. I was giving a somewhat formalized response to a formalized letter. If he was deeply hurt by this person, then what I suggested would be untruthful. I think I was inserting some of my own assumptions into it because I've found that overly worried people beholden to formalized, structured moral systems, tend to be submissive by nature and tend to exaggerate the harm they have done. It is part of how those structures keep people submissive. I was taught to meditate on Christ's suffering for an hour a day and realize I was responsible. That sort of intense guilt-tripping leads people to agonize over the most minuscule offenses, so I've always just made extra efforts to reassure such people to try to push back against their guilt-laden assumptions.

    I guess even if someone in that context did harm me, I would down-play it just for their sake.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  6. #46
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    I get form letters from students looking for, say, research expertise and all. I often respond to their emails, time permitting, even though I know that they're non-personalized form letters.

    But those form letters are from strangers.

    From an old 'enemy,' I'd personally be a bit more cautious. I may send a brief reply wishing the guy well (not necessarily disclosing whether I forgive him), but if the conversation were taken further than I felt comfortable with, I'd start flat-out ignoring it. I've been there and done just that.

    Most people in that situation, though, aren't quite interested in reconnecting; they're simply after atonement. Fine by me.

  7. #47
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I don't mean to sound cynical, but from the look and feel of this, he sounds like he's apologizing to you more out of a sense of "What he needs to do for Jesus" and as some way to witness to you, rather than because he's primarily broken up by the things he did to you. he just talks the image he should be conforming to, and it all sounds like talking points.

    Was this all the letter was, or did he mention anything specific he did do to you that he now actually regrets? I think if I were really broken up by some way in which I had done someone wrong, that's what I would be mentioning, and saying how sorry I was for it... and I wouldn't using it first and foremost as an excuse to preach.
    Exactly. Not real remorse or real begging for forgiveness, not even anything specific or personal. Just going with the flow. The AA angle certainly resonates with me. My ex-huband approached me with almost an identical schpeel when he got into AA, except it was in person, not a letter. It only made me want to increase his painful, torture filled demise at my hands to 3 days instead of 2. This also looks like a form letter to me and yeah, I'd want to know where he got my email address.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  8. #48
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    So I got this message in the mail from a guy I knew long ago. I thought it would be interesting to hear how people of various belief systems would address this person if they were in my shoes.

    Tell me what you think.

    <insert your name>,

    <insert your name> I want to apologize for being such a poor representative of Jesus Christ growing up. I ask your forgiveness in all the ways that I belittled you whether it was verbal or physical or even if I was something I didn’t do for you that I should’ve. You see growing up it might have looked like I was a Christ follower on the outside. Sure I was active in Church and I was supposed to be living as an example of a Christ-follower, but I didn’t really believe.
    It wasn’t until a few years ago that I faced some direct challenges in my life that forced me to stop and reconsider who Jesus Christ really is, and if I really was living for Him, and if I wanted to live for Him. See I knew I wasn’t living as though I really believed.
    Through this process I’ve come to accept God’s true love for me, and from his mercy I’ve been able to forgive myself for things I’ve done in my past. For so long I’ve always thought that God’s love was for me, but now I’ve started to realize that has shown His love on me so that I can share it with others and broadcast God’s glory from the posture of love that God has shown me. I hope that this letter serves as a testament that I really am sorry for any harm I caused you.

    Sincerely,<some guy you knew from childhood>
    Would it be awful if I suggest this reply: "INFJ!"

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