Author Topic: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??  (Read 3767 times)

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postalslave

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Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« on: April 19, 2013, 09:31:31 AM »
I am a member of "Postcrossing" which is a global postcard exchange program (you can google for more detail if necessary). Easy BG is you send a postcard to a stranger (address randomly generated) and once it is received your address goes into the "pool" and someone sends you a postcard.

So yesterday I login and request an address. The address I received is in the US.

I'm not American but I feel horribly for what the fine folks of Boston and surrounding area's are going through. Words truly can  not describe.. This post is even hard to type.

My question is - I really want to say something, express my condolences to my neighbours to the south. To tell them my thoughts and prayers are with them.

How can I word this? Is it even appropriate? I haven't sent the postcard yet and the recipient is not from Boston.

My question for American's - would you find this rude? Is this insensitive?

Sorry guys, this isn't written very well, I'm still really confused and upset and all full of emotion. This could even be in the wrong category.

Eden

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 09:36:44 AM »
I don't think anyone would find it rude at all. If they're not from Boston they may find it unusual. But I don't think words of support would ever be considered rude.

If you feel compelled possibly say something in the way of solidarity. "I know you're not in Boston, but in times of crisis we are all brothers and sisters. Much love and support from your sibling from the north." Or something like that?

Sharnita

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 09:58:55 AM »
Honestly, while Boston is formost in the minds of most there was the explosion in Texas, an Elvis impersonator sending ricin letters, etc. I think that even beyond Boston it has been a week that has been unsettling.  A word of concern and sympathy would not be misplaced.

wolfie

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 10:25:13 AM »
I am assuming that you are sending these for the joy of getting mail from other places, possibly to put in a scrapbook or on a fridge or a wall as decoration? In that case I would just leave the message short and sunny - basically because in 4 months will the person want a postcard reminding them of this time on display? Personally I would rather not have a condolence card like that. I am in upstate NY - nowhere near the tragedies - and would find it off to get a sympathy card - especially if I was looking forward to a piece of mail to take my mind off of things.

Thipu1

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 10:44:16 AM »
I wouldn't find it odd to receive a card mentioning the horror of the past week. 

When we were in the UK shortly after 9/11, we received many verbal messages of support from local people.  It was sweet. 

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 10:51:37 AM »
I have to agree with Wolfie in this instance. Is it sad? Yes. Is it affecting many people in the US? Yes. Does it have anything to do with my day to day life or 98% of my conversations here (also in Upstate NY)? Frankly, no.

bah12

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 11:01:44 AM »
Aside from just getting postcards from different places, I think another cool aspect is a history of what was going on in the world when the card was sent (to be viewed and possibly tell stories to others in the futre).

I don't think it's inappropriate to show some support for the events that unfolded this week (and this would go for any national news good or bad).  Also considering that the Boston Marathon had runners from around the world, this isn't something that just affects those that currentlly live there.  I think you can keep the main body of the postcard light and sunny but add something at the bottom that shows some support.  Maybe "Your neighbors in the North stand with you in times of crisis.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tragedies in Boston, Texes...(and whatever else)."

ETA:  I also think then when sending something to someone in a different country/region, it would also be interesting to include something that is going on where you live.  I do think that documenting world events in these postcards makes them even more interesting.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 11:04:43 AM by bah12 »

EllenS

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 11:02:36 AM »
When you say, "randomly generated", all the recipients signed up for this, right?  It's not completely random?  If it were completely random, that would be wierd and creepy to get something like that out of the blue.

If everyone is a member of this postcard club, then I think it would be fine/nice to offer general words of support for all the scary news lately.  I think anything TOO specific about the Boston bombing could have the boomerang effect of making the recipient feel slighted, if they are in the middle of some other more local issue (such as the Texas explosion).

For example, when the superstorm Sandy was all over the news media, I found it very upsetting, because the year before my region had been absolutely devasted by tornados - there were entire towns that just disappeared, not two sticks standing together.  Those storms killed 10x as many people as Sandy and left many rural people homeless and without power, water or fuel.  So the news coverage of Sandy left a bitter taste in a lot of people's mouths down here, because it just reinforced that nobody cares what happens to us.

I know that if somebody down here had gotten a message saying "thinking of you because of all the devastation from Sandy", it would not have been well received.

Judah

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 11:05:53 AM »
I have to agree with Wolfie in this instance. Is it sad? Yes. Is it affecting many people in the US? Yes. Does it have anything to do with my day to day life or 98% of my conversations here (also in Upstate NY)? Frankly, no.

I agree. And while not rude in any way, I would find such a message odd.
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guihong

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 11:13:56 AM »
If you are UK, you could say "It's certainly been an eventful and unsettling week for both of our nations" and then go on to sunnier news.



Winterlight

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 11:46:42 AM »
When you say, "randomly generated", all the recipients signed up for this, right?  It's not completely random?  If it were completely random, that would be wierd and creepy to get something like that out of the blue.

If everyone is a member of this postcard club, then I think it would be fine/nice to offer general words of support for all the scary news lately.  I think anything TOO specific about the Boston bombing could have the boomerang effect of making the recipient feel slighted, if they are in the middle of some other more local issue (such as the Texas explosion).

For example, when the superstorm Sandy was all over the news media, I found it very upsetting, because the year before my region had been absolutely devasted by tornados - there were entire towns that just disappeared, not two sticks standing together.  Those storms killed 10x as many people as Sandy and left many rural people homeless and without power, water or fuel.  So the news coverage of Sandy left a bitter taste in a lot of people's mouths down here, because it just reinforced that nobody cares what happens to us.

I know that if somebody down here had gotten a message saying "thinking of you because of all the devastation from Sandy", it would not have been well received.

Good point. Keep it general if you do want to express support.
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AnnaJ

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2013, 12:07:04 PM »
If the card is going to someone in the Boston area you would likely be fine mentioning it, but beyond that I would be cautious.  If it were going to someone in Texas they may wonder why you would mention the marathon but not the even more deadly explosion in West.  So maybe, if you want to say something, go with the more general suggestion guihong made.

Possum

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2013, 12:12:30 PM »
If you decide to include a support message, I'd say some sort of general "America, heck yeah!" or "America: Going strong" kind of thing would be good.  Or, "Your country has had some great tragedies and scares in the past week, know that [country] supports you!"  Not necessarily about the Boston bombings, or Texas, or ricin, or Justin Beiber still being at large, but still showing support.

However, having done a lot of postcard swaps and a few Postcrossings, if it was me, I'd be more interested in going on as normal.  Tell me a bit about your country, etc.  Maybe include a "[Country] supports America in this hard time" as a PS, or small letters down the side, but don't make it the focus of your message/postcard.
When you say, "randomly generated", all the recipients signed up for this, right?  It's not completely random?  If it were completely random, that would be wierd and creepy to get something like that out of the blue.
You have to sign up to be a part of it; who you're matched with out of the pool of willing participants is random.

postalslave

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2013, 12:17:59 PM »
Thank you for all the great suggestions.

To clarify a few questions -

Everyone signs up for the postcards so while the sender is a surprise the fact that will get a random postcard in your mailbox is not.

I would not be sending a sympathy card but an actual postcard.

I add other things in the message about my city and such, what I was more looking for/ asking is if a small blurb like what bah12 suggested : "Your neighbors in the North stand with you in times of crisis.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tragedies in Boston, Texes...(and whatever else)." would be ok.

Another poster mentioned history. This is a big part of why I like the project. I enjoy getting world info and knowing that when I'm older I can go back and read the info that was current that day.

The tragedy in Boston is very emotional for me on a few levels. One I'm a runner and two, Boston helped the city I live in after a devastating explosion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Explosion). Our city sends a Christmas tree to Boston every year as thanks, I think they may be our sister city?

Such an emotional week. Thank you all for your input :)

Sharnita

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Re: Unsolicited condolences - is this rude??
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2013, 12:20:18 PM »
I came across a card my family got over 20 years ago and the meassage was a real insight into what was going on at the time.