On my last entry, Oluwadee our newly married blogger, left the following comment:
Since i put my email addy on my blog, I have been getting a lot of emails asking for my help. I dont bother reading them.
and I think I’m going to follow her lead.
While I can tell a reader not to heed the sob tale of some guy she’s corresponding with who’s likely trying to scam her, when it comes to me, I am not immune to falling for what might be a scam, or at least feeling like I have to do something.
In my email reply to the guy I mentioned in the last entry, I told him the following:
I feel sympathy for you and your family, and although I cannot provide you with the help you seek, I will help you in the way that I can, by praying for you and asking on my blog for people to pray for you.
Granted, my experience with what life as an adult is like in Africa is limited (although he’s Nigerian he and his family are not in Nigeria at the moment), so the suggestions I offered him may not be useful, but I thought they made sense. They would not provide a quick fix to his problems, but could at least get him into a position where is able to find employment and support his family.
He was appreciative of my email but wanted me to do more. He wanted a sponsor. The email he sent bordered on trying to induce guilt on my part and I hate being guilted into anything, or in this case, made to feel like I am responsible or could potentially be responsible for the outcome of the life of somebody who happened to find my email address, so I had to be direct and even harsh in my one-line response:
Unfortunately I cannot help you any further. I wish you all the best in your work. Please do not contact me again with such a request.
Though I know it is the right thing to do given how little I know of what is actually going on and what I know of my own situation, there is always that part of you that feels you could do more and should do more. Anyone ever felt like this?