Monday, September 20, 2010


When I hear people sneeze, my response is to tell them “Gesundheit”, which is German and means something along the lines of “Good health”. People in this area often say “Bless You!” when they hear you sneeze and it’s always made me vaguely uncomfortable. I never was really sure why, so I keep my feelings to myself and just moved along. Today, however, I was stuck at a red light for longer than expected and my brain wandered over to this subject.

The idea that the energy that you send out comes back to you is not new, and is certainly not a concept limited to any one religion. The Law of Attraction, so very popular right now, is all about this very concept: ask directly for what you want and you’ll get it.

But there has to be intention to your prayer/wish. You can’t just ask for a vague sort of blessing from the Universe, because you never know what you are going to get. If you go to McDonald's and just ask for a burger, they will look at you with pity, because there are several different choices of burger on the menu. It’s the same with prayer. You have to speak exactly what you want aloud, with intention. Just saying “Bless you” is so vague as to be practically meaningless. What are you blessing the recipient with—free pizza?

“Gesundheit”, on the other hand, is a specific request for a specific thing. Nothing vague or meaningless about it. And that is why I say it. I want to make sure that the person sneezing stays healthy. Gesundheit.

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