Friday, March 25, 2011

Hijacking Happiness

I know I’m not the only one to notice that when unhappy things come along, they arrive with unexpected joy.
The other day someone hijacked my email and tried to get my friends to wire away money. This fraud has resulted in some hassle for me. I had to open a new email account. I changed all my passwords. I spent many minutes on the phone, waiting to talk to a person employed by Yahoo! I’m sure you know—or can imagine—the drill.
Ultimately, what happened to me was only inconvenience. Still, I had to remind myself to stay calm and NOT believe my stories about the perpetrators.
The results of this fraud were not all bad. I ended up talking to friends who were genuinely concerned about my welfare. I hadn’t talked with some of them for months.  


I was free, wait, let me say that again, with emphasis, FREE!!!! of email for about 36 hours. I had forgotten how nice life without email is.


My inconvenience was nothing compared to the Japanese who are dealing with earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear radiation. Nothing. 
Not all the news from Japan is depressing. Read this post by Anne Thomas who is living in Japan where the earth shook. It may lift your spirits. It lifted mine.  A Letter from Sendai.
And thanks to my friend and neighbor at Temporary Reality where I learned of Ms. Thomas.

14 comments:

Ruth said...

What an experience, Dan. I wonder how long it would take me to extricate myself from the email habit, or in a situation like yours, to let it go.

I read a beautiful article about a homeless "town" in Japan, which complements Anne Thomas's letter. It's here.

Alden Smith said...

Dan I am glad that you seem to have got this sorted - it must have been a worrying time for you. Indentity theft is no joke and can and has caused huge problems for many people - I am sure you have a firewall, anitvirus, spyware etc and keep it updated as we all do - sometimes stuff just slips through the net.

steven said...

dan the humbling nature of nature is among the more powerful learnings of life in this world. each day opportunities to see ourselves squarely as we have become - not necessarily as we are but as we have become - are offered to us in forms that are often challenging and if that opening is walked through then we have a chance to move back closer to what we actually are. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Pain is pain. I think it's OK to accept it, then move on - and whoa, did you ever do that with grace and style.

Bravo!

Dan Gurney said...

Ruth, I would imagine you'd regain your composure more quickly than you think. You would feel better right away when people call you and express their concern for your well being. Thank you for the NYT article. It was a good complement to Anne's post.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Alden. Yes I do the ordinary things to be safe online. What I understand from those who know much more than I do is that there really is no safety, security, or privacy online. Those who pry and spy figure out how to do it. Years ago, when I lived in a crime infested neighborhood, I lived with only the simplest possessions. My next door neighbor had his TV stolen twice a year or so. Me, I had no TV to steal.

I try to think of the online world as a very public sphere.

Dan Gurney said...

steven, sometimes things happen that rattle our cages. When the integrity of my email was violated, I felt violated. The boundaries I wished to have were crossed. I had to remind myself to apply my thoughts to fixing the situation rather than following aversive thoughts.

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks, Reya. Yeah, the world serves up crap sometimes. I learned of this hijacking at the beginning of my day at kindergarten. It threw me off-center. I had trouble enjoying my day in school. One of the edgiest kids acted out at recess, got sent home. (That's rare.)

It reminded me of how vital it is to "be here, now" when surrounded by a roomful of needy five year old kids.

Jinksy said...

Thank you for pointing us to the post from Japan. Amidst the worst disasters, humanity keeps its heart strong, it seems.

Dan Gurney said...

Yes, I find the posts about the Japanese people's response to be most encouraging. I would hope something similar would happen here in the US. Not sure, though, as we seem to have allowed a lot of toxicity enter the public discourse.

spldbch said...

Thanks for this reminder to look for joy even in the bad things that happen.

Dan Gurney said...

spldbch, you're welcome. Looking for the silver lining is its own reward. It sure feels better than taking an Eeyore view of the world.

Tess Kincaid said...

Thanks for the reminder to look for the silver lining.

Dan Gurney said...

Tess, you're welcome. I had to remind myself of that. I'm learning to see misfortune as good fortune in disguise, and vice versa. Most developments are far more mixed than we imagine them to be.