Forums > Personal > Words of support vs. a promise to pray

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magicalfreddiemercury user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 15 Feb 08, 12:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

When there's bad news of any kind - a bleak prognosis, a school shooting - or some other kind of difficulty, how many of you have had people say to 'say a little prayer' or that they'll pray for you? GW Bush does it all the time - and while this is not about Bush, it IS about the propensity of some people to say they’ll pray for you, rather than offer real words of support.

For example, regarding yet another US school shooting (where, apparently, it was just a person who killed others, not the rifle or handgun the guy carried, because if he were intent on killing he could have done so with a knife, a car, or a very sharp pencil... but that's a subject for another thread), Bush had this to say -

==
President George W Bush said he had spoken to Peters and told him "that a lot of folks today will be praying for the families of the victims and for the Northern Illinois University community. Obviously a tragic situation on that campus and I ask our citizens to offer their blessings, blessings of comfort and blessing of strength."
==

I don’t know how any of you read that, but I see little to no comfort offered there. There are no ‘fatherly’ words of wisdom and there’s no personal connection. To me, they are empty words offering no sense of support or guidance.

So my question is, when you or others you know have been in a difficult situation, what REAL words of support have you received or given? And... were actual words of support more readily offered, or were prayers?



"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 15 Feb 08, 13:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think it pretty much amounts to the same thing - with similar levels of sincerity. It's simply a matter of how the supportee will respond to the particular choice of words. A person like yourself obviously would not respond well to prayers and blessings, whereas to other people, it may well be all they would respond to. Both are quite understandable. Different strokes for different folks, you know?


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Posted: 15 Feb 08, 14:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color=666600><b>Music Man wrote:

I think it pretty much amounts to the same thing - with similar levels of sincerity. It's simply a matter of how the supportee will respond to the particular choice of words. A person like yourself obviously would not respond well to prayers and blessings, whereas to other people, it may well be all they would respond to. Both are quite understandable. Different strokes for different folks, you know?


I suppose I should rephrase. What I'm asking is how often actual advice or other comments that prompt a person to physically do something to change the situation come, verses the offering of prayer or suggestion to pray.

For example, after 9/11, then-Mayor Giuliani talked to the people about how awful what happened was and how he understood how scared and angry we were. He showed us he identified with us and advised us to go out and shop. He was mocked for that particular comment, but he was right. He wanted people to DO something. Shopping would bring people back to lower Manhattan, it would bring cash back to the area AND it would give people something to do besides cower or dwell on what had happened. He gave advice. He made us feel like we had some control over the situation. He explained why he gave that particular advice and he did it while acknowledging it could be hard to carry out.

Others said the victims, their families and New York had their prayers.

While those prayers might have made some people feel a sense of peace, it wasn't tangible advice. That's what I'm talking about here. The difference. How often one is offered over the other, not what a person takes from either... though I admit, I was quick to voice my feelings on that.



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Posted: 15 Feb 08, 18:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sounds like you were expecting "I won't let this happen anymore".

Now, how exactly do we go about doing that?

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Posted: 15 Feb 08, 18:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That shooting has been on the news all day around my campus (CMU) because NIU is in the Mid American Conference (MAC Conference) with us. We play their athletic teams and they play ours; we have conferences between departments in both universities. Plus NIU is pretty much a mirror image of CMU just in a different state (though VERY close to Michigan...the campus is maybe 8 hours away at max); so it hits a bit close to home here. There has been a rash of these things lately...I hope it stops soon. Our university is sending a card to them, I need to remember to go over and sign it. The Chippewas stand in solidarity with the Huskies.

As far as the issues you raise; well, when people don't know what to say, a lot of times they'll just say the socially acceptable thing. I personally never say that someone is in my prayers, because I don't pray and I would never say that I will do something I won't do. I will say that they are in my thoughts, and they are because I have a tendency to worry about others FAR more than I worry about myself.

But I'm a bit different than most people...I don't think words mean crap unless you back them up with actions. If someone around me suffers a loss of some kind, I don't just tell them that I feel sorry for them...because 50 people have said the same thing, and in the end of the day when you are alone and dealing with the emotional aftermath the "thoughts" and "prayers" of 50 people doesn't make a lick of difference. I'm a person who is there with you whenever you call them (and even when you don't)....I'm the shoulder you cry on...I'm the one who does anything that you need without asking. I can't tell you how many movies I've been to in the last week, how many "girl talk" times I've had with a girlfriend of mine who was recently dumped, and with another one who recently lost her grandmother...I've put myself behind in my school work to be there for her without giving it a second thought. But then again, that's the kind of person I am.


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Posted: 15 Feb 08, 18:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:

Sounds like you were expecting "I won't let this happen anymore".

Now, how exactly do we go about doing that?


I wasn't expecting that or any other lie.

All this thread is about, which, it seems, I'm not making clear, is how often people offer prayers in times of need, instead of solid, actionable advice.



"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 15 Feb 08, 18:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

HistoryGirl wrote:



But I'm a bit different than most people...I don't think words mean crap unless you back them up with actions. If someone around me suffers a loss of some kind, I don't just tell them that I feel sorry for them...because 50 people have said the same thing, and in the end of the day when you are alone and dealing with the emotional aftermath the "thoughts" and "prayers" of 50 people doesn't make a lick of difference. I'm a person who is there with you whenever you call them (and even when you don't)....I'm the shoulder you cry on...I'm the one who does anything that you need without asking. I can't tell you how many movies I've been to in the last week, how many "girl talk" times I've had with a girlfriend of mine who was recently dumped, and with another one who recently lost her grandmother...I've put myself behind in my school work to be there for her without giving it a second thought. But then again, that's the kind of person I am.


I hope your friends appreciate you, you seem to be a rare find.

I'm glad you understood what I was trying to get at. :-) I'm not dissing religion (in this thread), I was just hoping to see how often people offer prayers - which often is as meaningless as a greeting of "how are you" - and how often people offer actionable advice.




"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 15 Feb 08, 19:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You know,you can nip all these shootings in the bud by making it illegal to buy guns.Any country who supports the right to bear arms is pretty much lining themselves up for something like this.
If you want to argue against that,try telling that to the families of the people who were killed.

Its those poor folk who have to live with the actions of one deranged unhinged maniac.


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Posted: 15 Feb 08, 22:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Roger Meadows Tailor wrote:

You know,you can nip all these shootings in the bud by making it illegal to buy guns.Any country who supports the right to bear arms is pretty much lining themselves up for something like this.
If you want to argue against that,try telling that to the families of the people who were killed.

Its those poor folk who have to live with the actions of one deranged unhinged maniac.


You're absolutely correct. Just as the consumption of alcohol was eliminated during prohibition, and drugs are virtually nonexistent in our modern society, all violent crimes will disappear if we outlaw guns.

The families of victims - or anyone who elicits a strong emotional response to the issue - are the people who are least likely to formulate a rational opinion on the matter. Saying an argument is invalid because it would offend such people is absurd.

Anyway, back on topic: The problem with offering advice is that no one is really qualified to give advice, most of the time. Additionally, more often than not, advice is either useless or simply not taken. I agree that the best thing you can do is to be there for those you care for, rather than offering thoughts, prayers, or advice (all of which are rather superficial, if you ask me).


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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 04:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So, essentially, what you are saying is that there is no correlation between gun legislation and violent crime? So you mean to tell me that the homicide rate in the US is not far larger than in Europe? Would you like me to quote you some statistics by the eminent sociologist Charles Tilly who devoted a paragraph to the matter?

The suicide rate is roughly the same in the US as in Europe (expressed in a number of suicides/1000 members of the population, giving a comparable statistic for different populations). However, in Europe, homicide occurs between 1/10-1/20 as often as suicide (depending on what European country). In the US, the two rates are nearly equal, giving you a 1000-2000% homicide rate in relation to Europe.(1)

Now, I see two possible explanations for this:
1) Americans are inherently more violent than Europeans
2) (Extremely) liberal gun-ownership legislation causes more violent crime

I don't know about you, but I'm inclined to choose 2.

(1) Charles Tilly, "Coercion, Capital, and European States AD 990-1992" (16th Edition, Malden, MA 2006) p. 68.


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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 05:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Publicly speaking about prayers is a very American thing, I think. I have never heard a German politician offering a prayer, that would sound very weird in our ears because religion is a private matter.

You have to make a difference between an official representative like Bush or Guiliani and private words of support - which can be very helpful if you genuinely care. The Bush statement is just lip service, he made a statement because it goes with the job. I don't think he gives a toss about the families who lost their children. Guiliani was in New York when the WTC collapsed, so he was affected and found the right words.

For a stranger there is really nothing you can say to make things any easier for the families who lost their children.


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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 05:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You're oversimplifying the issue (TQ). For every statistic which emphasises the effectiveness of gun control legislation, there is a statistic emphasising how such legislation is either ineffective or counterintuitive. For instance, the high rate of gun ownership in Finland vs. the low rate of gun violence.


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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 05:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

magicalfreddiemercury wrote:

When there's bad news of any kind - a bleak prognosis, a school shooting - or some other kind of difficulty, how many of you have had people say to 'say a little prayer' or that they'll pray for you? GW Bush does it all the time - and while this is not about Bush, it IS about the propensity of some people to say they’ll pray for you, rather than offer real words of support.

For example, regarding yet another US school shooting (where, apparently, it was just a person who killed others, not the rifle or handgun the guy carried, because if he were intent on killing he could have done so with a knife, a car, or a very sharp pencil... but that's a subject for another thread), Bush had this to say -

==
President George W Bush said he had spoken to Peters and told him "that a lot of folks today will be praying for the families of the victims and for the Northern Illinois University community. Obviously a tragic situation on that campus and I ask our citizens to offer their blessings, blessings of comfort and blessing of strength."
==

I don’t know how any of you read that, but I see little to no comfort offered there. There are no ‘fatherly’ words of wisdom and there’s no personal connection. To me, they are empty words offering no sense of support or guidance.

So my question is, when you or others you know have been in a difficult situation, what REAL words of support have you received or given? And... were actual words of support more readily offered, or were prayers?


haha you think a satanist like bush cares for the people? of course everything he says is pure bullshit :)


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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 05:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YourValentine wrote:

Publicly speaking about prayers is a very American thing, I think. I have never heard a German politician offering a prayer, that would sound very weird in our ears because religion is a private matter.

You have to make a difference between an official representative like Bush or Guiliani and private words of support - which can be very helpful if you genuinely care. The Bush statement is just lip service, he made a statement because it goes with the job. I don't think he gives a toss about the families who lost their children. Guiliani was in New York when the WTC collapsed, so he was affected and found the right words.

For a stranger there is really nothing you can say to make things any easier for the families who lost their children.


wow are we naive here or what? guiliani not only doesnt care about 9/11 victims, he is part of the gang who planned 9/11


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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 06:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color=666600><b>Music Man wrote:

You're oversimplifying the issue (TQ). For every statistic which emphasises the effectiveness of gun control legislation, there is a statistic emphasising how such legislation is either ineffective or counterintuitive. For instance, the high rate of gun ownership in Finland vs. the low rate of gun violence.


Again that can be explained in part in the difference between US and Finnish psyche..................

Also there was a recent school shooting that happened in Helsinki. Would this have happened if guns had been banned? In my opinion, no.

Take a look at Britain. Here before guns were banned we had Hungerford, Dunblane etc. Since the ban.....nothing!! It is not a coincidence.

Admittedly we have a huge probelem with gang and gun culture now but these are not the same people that turn up at a school thinking their on an African game hunt.

Just because something is part of the Constitution does not make it right, things move on.

I feel this thread is going to go on and on again and frankly there's more chance of Jehovah Witness turning up on my doorstep talking sense than there is some of you blinkered lot.


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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 07:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

'National psyche' is not an issue here; in fact, I daresay it is a fiction. The low gun-related violence in Finland can be (and has been) accounted for by the low concentration of the population. Worldwide, gun-related violence concentrates in areas of popualation concentration (i.e. cities, especially larger ones). It is to be noted that the correlation is exponential in nature (i.e. there is much more than just a linear connection population increase -> violence increase)


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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 07:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Treasure Moment wrote:

YourValentine wrote:

Publicly speaking about prayers is a very American thing, I think. I have never heard a German politician offering a prayer, that would sound very weird in our ears because religion is a private matter.

You have to make a difference between an official representative like Bush or Guiliani and private words of support - which can be very helpful if you genuinely care. The Bush statement is just lip service, he made a statement because it goes with the job. I don't think he gives a toss about the families who lost their children. Guiliani was in New York when the WTC collapsed, so he was affected and found the right words.

For a stranger there is really nothing you can say to make things any easier for the families who lost their children.


wow are we naive here or what? guiliani not only doesnt care about 9/11 victims, he is part of the gang who planned 9/11


...and this comes from the same person who thinks Freddie Mercury is god.


[QUOTE][QUOTENAME]Brandon wrote: [/QUOTENAME]... and now the "best you can offer is Mr. Jingles? HA! He's... just pathetic.[/QUOTE]
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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 08:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Treasure Moment = the gang that planned 911




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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 08:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YourValentine wrote:

You have to make a difference between an official representative like Bush or Guiliani and private words of support - which can be very helpful if you genuinely care. The Bush statement is just lip service, he made a statement because it goes with the job. I don't think he gives a toss about the families who lost their children. Guiliani was in New York when the WTC collapsed, so he was affected and found the right words.


You’re exactly right. There is a difference between comments from public officials and those privately offered. You’re also right that the comments from one were heartfelt and from the other, superficial.

I didn't mean to compare those two men, though, just the different ways support was offered.

YourValentine wrote:

Publicly speaking about prayers is a very American thing, I think. I have never heard a German politician offering a prayer, that would sound very weird in our ears because religion is a private matter.


I find this very interesting. And this is what I'm talking about. If religion is a private matter, does that mean the average person doesn't automatically offer prayers either? In times of need, what do people say if not, "my prayers are with you" or some such thing? Because, here, not just from public officials, but also from the private sector, prayers are offered more than anything else.



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Posted: 16 Feb 08, 08:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

pow wow wrote:


Just because something is part of the Constitution does not make it right, things move on.

I feel this thread is going to go on and on again and frankly there's more chance of Jehovah Witness turning up on my doorstep talking sense than there is some of you blinkered lot.


The gun control debate will not go away any time soon - just like the abortion debate. They're issues that whip up passion from both sides.

I don't think there's one answer, nor do I believe one answer will be accepted by everyone. However, the need to revisit existing gun laws certainly exists. I hope the next president - whomever that may be - will have the balls to take on the deep-pocketed NRA and make some much-needed changes.



"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury