Wherein I Attack the Word “Blessed”

Excessive use has reduced the word to a good-for-nothing air kiss.

CHIMP BLESSED WITH HUMAN BRAIN_Where Excuses Go to DieI’m blessed, you’re blessed, she’s blessed, those kids are blessed, the Seattle Seahawks are blessed, blessed-blessed-blessed!  Since when did so many people start benefitting from divine intervention? When did “luck” morph into into a Vatican Press Office buzzword? Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to cram the annoyance of an entire Christmas letter into a single word, but could you do it with this one a little less often?

And while we’re at it, for the love of all things peaceful and plain, don’t ever throw it at me as a projection of good things to come. Don’t use “Blessings!” as a goodbye salutation. Nothing makes you sound less employable.

Yeah yeah, it’s just terrific as hell that gratitude has gotten fashionable, but isn’t gratitude supposed to be shown, rather than flaunted? We’re supposed to give thanks, not blab thanks.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present without giving it – yes, I have heard that one. But while some small dogs are cute, the ones that bark  in order to be paid attention to are more or less the worst creatures on earth. And way too many people use the word “blessed” as an excuse to announce bark their personal status.

bless·ed adjective: 1. Worthy of adoration. 2. Divinely or supremely favored; fortunate

BLESSINGS FOR THE BLONDE_Where Excuses Go to DieAs often as I hear “blessed” tacked onto superficial conversations about petty material gain is as often as my mind associates it with people who start every sentence with “I.”

A writing teacher once urged me to reduce the number of sentences beginning with “I” in my own work. Over the years, it’s made sense to apply the same effort to my conversations, and by extension to the impression I leave behind. It’s similar to using curse words less frequently in order to heighten their power, though for me that’s a harder struggle. The point is, making an effort not to throw the word “blessed” around would prevent the further deadening of its importance.

When I took on the nuns, one of my primary arguments involved questioning how God could spread himself so thin by overseeing everything we do, every part of our bodies that we touch, and everything we ask for. The response was always the same: “God is everywhere.”  My lifelong struggles with the fun house mirror of Catholicism aside, hearing blessed-blessed-blessed-blessed everywhere these days makes the word “omnipresent” seem downright limiting. Anyway, isn’t it arrogant to assume that the sign of your holy sanctification is a smaller-than-expected dry cleaning bill?

Cancer survivors are blessed we know, but show me someone who equates being “blessed” with the absence of problems, and I’ll show you someone with poor coping skills and a warped understanding of personal advancement.

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