I’m sure I am not the only one to whom the following scenario has occurred.

Computer: “Ding”

Stephen: “Awesome. New email. Oh man… it’s from an old friend. How exciting!”

Computer: “Friendship is the ship that never sinks. Forward this to 20 friends or risk titanic-like elephantitis on your genitals.”

Stephen: “Thanks Teno. What a pal.”

Needless to say, the forwarding chain usually ends when it meets my inbox. That, my friends, will probably never change. But on this very day, much to my surprise, I received a forward (not from Teno) that I thought was a pleasant and creative reminder of an important truth. Instead of forwarding it on to everyone I know, I’ll do the next worse thing: post it on my website.

You’re welcome.

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “how heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.”

“If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.”

“So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax… pick them up later after you’ve rested.”

Not bad, eh?

I recognize that some may feel intellectually insulted by the wisdom via email forward concept. Hopefully, our egos can withstand the risk of enjoying this little story and its simple message.

Life is short. Carpe diem, my friends.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.