Exhaling — What is the World Coming To?

By Lori Krause


In the past couple weeks both husband and I have come to feel a bit like a person must feel who has their identity stolen.  In this age of too much technology, it seems anyone can do most anything to a person, and get away with it.

There was a letter to the Editor in the Norfolk paper, a very derogatory letter, saying all sorts of nasty things about the city of Norfolk.  And to make matters worse, the person who wrote it signed an innocent person’s name – my husband’s.

We had no knowledge of this until we started getting phone calls the next day from people agreeing with the letter.  Goodness!  There must be some very disgruntled people in that town.

Our good neighbor brought the paper to our house with the culprit letter in it, so we read for ourselves the things that husband supposedly had written.  It was tough convincing the callers that he was not the writer.

After talking to the editor of that paper on Monday, he agreed to put a correction in that day’s paper.  We had to search for that teeny tiny correction, so we decided there was no way we were going to leave this episode hanging like that!  So we emailed a very complimentary letter about Norfolk to the editor.

Now, it doesn’t take long for news to reach every ear in the small town of Elgin, whether it is good or bad.  People were shocked beyond belief when we told them what happened.  Such comments as, “What is this world coming to?” “How could someone do that to an innocent person?”; and “Why didn’t they sign their own name?” were common. 

Yes, indeed, what is this world coming to?  Our privacy has flown out the window.

With all the technology we have, no one’s privacy is protected anymore.  We are losing our freedoms; we are losing our way of life.  Our children and grandchildren know the existence of a whole new world.

We most likely will never find out who wrote that defamatory letter.  There’s not even a city postal cancellation that can locate the source.

None of the small towns have their own cancellation stamps anymore; they all go to a central hub.  So, what do we do about it, just forget it?  Tough thing to do, knowing there is such a coward out there who will actually use another’s good name to voice his vile opinions.  Or maybe we’ll have to be more on guard in the future.  But how do we do that?  The sad thing is, there’s no protection against something like this.

This is definitely not the kind of column I enjoy writing, and maybe I should end on a more positive note.  Perhaps I can pray that this person finds a conscience, and gets tapped on the shoulder by a higher power to tell him/her to write a letter of apology.  Well, I can dream, can’t I?  And by the way, this column has husband’s approval!