Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Bless You"

Is it just me, or is it terribly annoying when someone says "Bless You" whenever you sneeze?  I realize it is a social courtesy of politeness, but is it really necessary?  What is the purpose of blessing someone for a natural bodily function?  How come we don't have social niceties for when someone burps, or coughs, or farts?

I'm not necessarily offended when someone says "Bless You."  I know they are simply trying to be polite.  But it does get old having to thank someone for giving me an undesired and unnecessary blessing.  Does anyone else feel this way?

Why do we do it?

A quick internet search revealed a few possible origins for this practice. One of which was the bubonic plague in which a sneeze meant you were probably infected and a "bless you" was used in hopes of warding off the disease.

Another possible origin is the folk belief that a sneeze open up a person's soul and would therefore allow evil spirits to enter the body. "Bless You" was believed to be a sort of shield against evil.

Of course now, thanks to science, we know that a "Bless You" does not stop an illness from spreading.  And religion has always had irrational beliefs that have no evidence that they actually work or are even necessary.

Whatever the source, it is an unnecessary social pleasantry that I would personally love to see disappear.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Good Life, Bad Life

I have been away from the blogging world for about six months and during that time I suppose I got out of the routine of getting on the blog to write my thoughts and check for comments and emails.

When I announced 6 months ago that I would be taking a temporary leave of absense, someone left a comment asking me if I was going to jail.

No.  But the question made me laugh!

I was going through a very transitional time.  I was between jobs and was asked to move out from the family member I was living with.  I was honestly prepared to live in my car for a while.  Fortunately that never had to happen as family and friends were gracious enough to let me couch surf for a few months.  That was an interesting experience.

There has been more going on but it's not really revalent to talk about.  This is the Mormon411 blog and I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't have a thought on the subject, and my little pre-story fits in with what I am about to share.

I was invited to dinner with an LDS friend and her family and her non-LDS boyfriend who was investigating the church.  I didn't know it until I showed up, but there were also two LDS missionaries invited.  The boyfriend had been meeting with the missionaries and was moving away so the dinner was kind of a farewell party.

After dinner, the missionaries were asked to share a message and as I listened to what they were saying, I realized what a negative outlook Mormons have on the world.

As this boyfriend was moving away to go to school, the missionaries shared how he would have trials and hardships but by relying on Jesus Christ, he could make it through.  Maybe I'm being too critical, but I realized that I always hear this.  I always hear from Mormons how hard and terrible life is, and how only the church gets them through.  With them, it's always a focus on how hard life is and how horrible the world is.

Life is hard.  That's a fact.  I was unemployed and on the verge of being homeless.  However, I made it though without one single prayer or one single step inside a church.  I didn't rely on Jesus to get me through it. I relied on myself and the kindness of those who were willing to help me.

But I can honestly say that during this very hard time, I was happy!  I viewed it as an adventure.  I look back and am proud that I not only made it through, but had a great time doing it!  It didn't make me feel like turning to faith for reassurance.  It made me look inside myself.  It made me a stronger person, and neither Jesus nor religion had anything to do with it!

I have since secured a great job and place to live.  I have paid off over $10,000 in debt.  I have money in the bank, food in the fridge, gas in the car, a roof over my head, and a smile on my face.  Life really isn't about what happens to us.  It's about how we react to it.

I know, it really sounds like I'm tooting my own horn and patting myself on the back.  But that's really not what this is about.  It's about my belief that religion is completely unnecessary to make it through the hardships of life.  Personally, the lack of religion has made it easier!