Stuck on “Yes, I Check My Emails, Thank You Very Much!”

AggressionEven though 2017 has just begun, parents in Israel are already beginning to register their children for school next year.

Yet, this process isn’t as easy at it seems, for where I live, there are numerous educational options.

There’s the religious Orthodox school, the secular school, the religious/secular school, the Democratic school, the Waldorf school, the yeshiva school… did I miss any?

My youngest will be going into 1st grade this year and we need to start making a decision.

Apparently registration for the religious/secular school (which is only one year old) opened a few days ago (earlier than all the other schools).

One of the very involved parents in this new school sent me a text message asking me about our registration.

“Has registration started?” I asked sincerely. I actually wasn’t of that it had.

“Don’t you ever check your emails?” she responded.


Now that was kind of an aggressive response, wouldn’t you say?

I mean, she could have responded so differently. And she could have been helpful, rather than downright rude.

And I got stuck on being insulted by her.

I mean, really.

Do I ever check my emails?

Sure I do.

I check the religious school emails.

I checked the Waldorf school emails.

I check the kindergarten school emails.

I check the 3rd grade emails.

I check the 6th grade emails.

I check the 9th grade emails.

I check the community emails.

I check my business emails.

I check my personal emails.

I check emails from our tenants.

I check emails from our realtor who is finding us new tenants.

I check email from the Gas and Electric companies back in NJ.

I check the bank emails.

I check emails from my family.

I check emails from my menuchat hanefesh class I am in.

I check emails from summer camp staff.

I check emails from my website developer.

I check emails from our health insurance.

I check emails regarding the upcoming Women’s Day of Learning I will be participating in.

I check emails from my trademark lawyer.

I check emails from Paypal.

So, to answer your question: Yes, I check my emails thank you very much!

But, as that thought came to mind and that desire to respond with my long list as a source of proof that I do indeed check my emails, I realized I would only be acting from a place of aggression.

And I thought about a quote from a book I’ve been reading, “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron.

“Am I going to add aggression to the world today (by responding to that text in the way I felt an urge to)?

Yes, I would be adding aggression to the world for sure.

Was her question to me aggressive?

Yes, at least it’s the way I read it.

Did it matter? Not really.

I know I always have a choice in how I can respond to people.

And while doing a quick S.T.U.C.K. process, I considered perhaps she didn’t realize her text message to be aggressive at all.

And I considered this parent is probably under a lot of stress regarding school enrollment.

And I considered I wasn’t the first parent who missed that important email.

I got stuck on insult, but it’s O.K.

I not only got unstuck from it quickly, but I was also able to prevent a war.

And that’s no little thing in my book.

Think about your life for a moment. Where can you bring in a some non-aggression?

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