Has this every happened to you?  How embarrassing.

Seriously though. Why do we say “Bless You” to someone when they sneeze? They used to say “Bless You” back in the day because they thought that evil spirits were trying to get out of the person.

Or maybe they were trying to rush in to fill the void left in one’s nasal passages following the expulsion of air, mucus, and bacterium from within. Who can say.

But I digress. Do we honestly believe that these people need blessing? No, we do not.

(Incidentally, for a short period of time I took a bit of offense to the term “Bless You,” since, not being of a Christian faith, I felt that it was infringing on my something something. Really I think I just wanted to be indignant. So instead I started asking people “Would you like some Tea?” as I figured that it was just as good a remedy for the true cause of the sneeze (the body attempting to expunge some sort of foreign body and/or bacterium that could lead to a cold or other disease) and far more practical than hoping that someone would be protected from the supposed evil spirits by the very power of my nonbeliever’s words. I even got a friend of mine on board. And what happened? People began expecting tea! It goes without saying that the practice did not last very long, once I found out how much a proper cup of green tea actually costs.)

Where was I?

Oh yes.  Anyway, the point of saying “Bless You” is not because we believe in the superstition.  And it’s not an insult to those who may not share the same beliefs as those who once believed that the evil spirits were involved with sneezing.

But rather, it’s polite and nice and shows some level of empathy with the person who may or may not be sick (and therefore may or may not get you sick) and generally is followed by a “Thank You” in reply and all in all doesn’t that seem like a much nicer way to go about the day rather than recoiling every time we believe that someone else is trying to get us sick?