I think it’s been far too long since we spent a day rummaging through my inbox together. Today I want to share a little bit of the humor, irony, and the interesting lessons surrounding some of your email responses to my latest posts. I think there is little need for my own commentary today. Instead, I’m just going to paste two very different replies that came in from each post, and at the end perhaps we can discuss.

From my It’s my funeral and I’ll laugh if I want to post:

“Dan, death is something that should never be joked about period. You don’t ever know what somebody is going through and you never know who is going to be offended or hurt by your careless words. For all you know somebody is dying right now and when they read what you wrote it will hurt them beyond hurt.”

And (with permission from the sender):

“Hey there, I just wanted to let you know that I have been battling a terminal illness and have now been given only months to live. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for this post today. It has been so hard to deal with all the sadness and heart ache that goes on in this. I needed your post today more than anything you’ve written. I love you, thanks for the laughs.”

From my Before the number changes post:

“I disagree with you 100%, sir. You must not ever forget the past. That pain is there for a reason. Those experiences are there for a reason. It is to learn from them. It is to appreciate what we have. I will not entertain your way of thinking because it is wrong and will ultimately damage those who try to live by it. Nobody will benefit from this garbage.”

And:

“Dear Single Dad, I’m sitting in tears over your last post. You see, today I took your advice and something so small and simple has turned my entire life around. I pretended the past didn’t exist and for the first time probably in my entire life I made a decision to do what matters now no matter what happened in the past. It was simple even stupid, I just got up and tried to pick up all of the laundry in one room before the clock changed, and I did it, and it clicked something in me and I have not been able to stop thinking about it. Everybody always tells me to let go of the past. You actually made it possible. This is perhaps your’re most profound thing you’ve written and in the matter of a few minutes you’ve changed my life more than I can ever thank you for.”

From my An arm for Maura post:

“I had to write you a message today to tell you I will not be reading your blog any more. You are no better than Maura or the editors who let that garbage out. You preech that you have some great message that love and understands people and you do this to supprot them in their bigotry. Im very dissapointed. Have a good life! I will not be back.”

And:

“Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Your “an arm for Maura” post touched me more than you could imagine. If there was ever something that made me believe completely in everything else you’ve written it’s this. I was one of those who was first angry and disgusted by her article. Today I read your post and was so moved by your compassion for her because you are right. It has nothing to do with what was written. It has everything to do with handling it properly and with love so that we become better and she becomes better. You have an SDL follower for life…”

From my Worthless women and the men who make them post:

“Way to go, bravo, you just took away the voice of every woman in the world. You have no idea what your talking about. You have no idea what women think. You shouldn’t even be approaching the subject. Men have nothing to do with it. Absolutely nothing. What bull ****. Sorry, you missed the mark by a long shot on this one.”

And:

“I just wanted to write you a note and tell you that I haven’t been able to stop crying since I read your post this morning. For the first time in my life I feel like somebody understands what is going through the heads of women and had the courage to say something about it. I feel like you were the voice I have wanted to have for years. You couldn’t have written more clearly the thoughts of women everywhere, and I think it did need to come from the perspective of a man. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

From my Step away from the scale post:

“sorry i won’t put away my scale and i wouldn’t want to. you talk about the number being the problem but its that number that keeps me in shape and keeps me skinny and keeps me doing what needs to be done because i refuse to not let myself get above a certain weight. i usually like what you write but today was probly the worst one i’ve seen because it is just wrong and i doubt anyone will really agree with you, if they do its cause their weak.”

And:

“Dan, my scale is gone. And so is me being a slave to it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your post last week about it. Because of you (and your genius!) I suddenly am having no problem doing this and making a lifestyle change that I have been trying to make unsuccessfully for years. And it was like it took no effort. I am enjoying life now just like you and you know how you just know when a change is permanent? That is how I feel right now. I will never get on that damn scale again. Like you said, who would willingly hand back their freedom?”

That was five posts, two emails each out of dozens. Sometimes hundreds. I could write a book with the deeper lessons about people that one could take away after reading just this much. But I won’t. Instead, I’d like to ask you… what do these paragraphs really say to you? What are the deeper lessons?

And you wonder why I’m always so damn emotional.

I started this post out with the intent to get you laughing at the completely opposite flavors of my emails. Why? Because that opposition makes me laugh.

But, as I laid them all out here, it became less funny to me, and more profound. I certainly don’t post this looking for validation or to show the world how “awesome” I am. I post it because it is something that made me think, and I’m curious what you get out of it. That’s all.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing