Bless You!

       When I worked in Korea, I learned very quickly that the best thing to do after someone sneezes is nothing.  Unlike the US and many other countries, where the common response is a polite “Bless You!”  I’ve read various theories of the origin of the phrase and practice, but the one I’ve heard most often dates back several centuries.  When someone sneezed, it was believed that the person had expelled an evil spirit from his or her body, and people who heard it said “Bless You!” in an effort to prevent the return of the evil spirit. 

       But have we taken the custom too far?  I was on a train earlier this week, with a couple seated across from me, both working on their smart phones.  Someone several rows away sneezed, and the woman across from me, without looking up, said “Bless You” very loudly.  She just said it; she had no idea who sneezed or whether the sneezer even cared about the evil spirit.  Maybe he wanted it back… 

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back often – I write and post every day!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don,  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!  

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RandolphMase, Fiction Writer 

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death in The Cloisters (under construction)

Nathan Hale


2 Responses to “Bless You!”

  1. 2010claudia Says:

    In college, with my roommate and me believing that it was dust or pollen leaving our bodies instead of evil spirits, we would say “I acknowledge your sneeze” and go on with the day.

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