Word And Deed

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I had a very strange epiphany the other day. After a friend of mine sneezed and I said, “Bless you,” it occurred to me that what I had offered, purely out of habit, was a religious sentiment (albeit an abbreviation) to an Atheist who, nonetheless, said quite naturally, “thank you.”

Though neither one of us was particularly startled by this seemingly normal exchange, I thought about it for a second and asked if I had offended him. He, not surprisingly, answered, “no.”

But then I thought about another conversation I had had with a stranger on the telephone. It was just a solicitation and meant nothing at the time until I recalled that she ended the call by saying, “blessings.” I thought it odd and, honestly, uncalled for but then wondered if she expected some type of response from me. Was I supposed to say, “and to you, too” (or whatever the standard Christian response is)?

I certainly meant no disrespect but, rather, was quite taken by surprise because, in my life, that’s just not something people say to one another. It also goes back to that much disputed custom of wishing anybody and everybody a merry Xmas during the month of December. I’ve never understood why people find it necessary to make the assumption that you’re Christian or that you need THEIR acknowledgment. I know it’s meant to be a friendly greeting but, then, so is the much safer and non-religious “hello.”

Whatever the intended message or meaning is behind the words, it would be so much easier if people just acknowledged one another with a brief nod or a pleasant smile!

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Year End Bonus

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With winter just around the corner, it’s that time of year again when some of us make resolutions and others, like myself, just help ourselves to a little extra sweetness (in the form of chocolate).

I don’t smoke or drink so chocolate is my go-to vice. It’s not exactly a habit but I wouldn’t give it up if asked. And the longer I live, the more doctors insist that it’s actually healthy – so I’m good with that.

But, as the calendar is slowly flipped to the last page, there’s something else we need to be aware of – besides soon having to write a different year on our deposit slips. And that is: we’re a year older but are we any wiser? Have we learned from our mistakes and are we better for them?

Some of us might receive a monetary bonus from work while others will not. That’s not a reflection of our worth but, rather, a consequence of our life’s choices. Sure, money is nice – but knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life has its own rewards!