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March 19, 2010     Hidalgo County Herald
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HIDALGO COUNTY HERALD FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2010 7 Just A Though, t When is it the right time to bless others? By RICK KRAFT A person sneezes at a social function.. Two others standing nearby say, "Bless You!" The per- son who sneezed says, "Thank you." Fifteen minutes later, the person who sneezed has moved to the other side of the room and sneezes a second time. Three people in the vicinity in almost unison say, "Bless you!" The per- son who sneezed says, "Thank you" again. What is going on here? Is this an impulsive response to hearing another sneeze? Why the second response, "thank you?" We utter these words instinc- tively without thinking. Yet clearly this is not an instinct that we were born with. Somehow it has become a part of our culture. There are various versions of the history of this tradition. It is gen- erally accepted that the earliest roots of sharing this after a sneeze began as an actual blessing by Pope Gregory the Great in 590AD. Rome was facing an out- break of the bubonic plague and sneezing was thought to be an early symptom. Saying "God Bless You" was believed to be ward Off the disease. Other histories include the notign that when someone sneezes, their heart stops. Saying "God Bless You" ensures that the heart begins again and the per- son can keep living. One history is that when people sneeze, their soul could be thrown from their body leaving their body open to invasion by the devil or evil spir- its. Another says people sneezed in order to force out invading evil spirits. Another history recorded is that sneezing was a sign that God answered prayers; sneezing is a sign of good fortune. The blessing was a recognition of good luck. Sometimes after a sneeze a person says, "gesundheit," This is another interesting tradition because the word is actually Ger- man. Translated literally the word means "health." This word was uttered based on the belief that a sneeze generally precedes an ill- ness. This tradition was brolaght to the United States by German speaking immigrants. Other coun- tries around the world also have phrases they speak after sneezes. So what is a "blessing?" If we looked the term up in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it reads "l.a. The act or words of one thatblesses b. approval, encour- agement. :2. A thing conductive to happiness or welfare. 3. Grace said at a meal." I was at a legal seminar in Albuquerque in a classroom set- ting and a person about ten rows ahead of me sneezed in the middle of the speaker's presenta- tion. Without missing a beat the speaker stopped her sentence and said, "God bless you." What caught my attention was the speaker adding the word "God" at the beginning of the "Bless you" phrase. Okay, maybe I am over thinking this, but the second day of the seminar I found myself in the hallway next to the speaker and I asked her outright "Are you a person of faith?" She looked at me puzzled until I explained to her that she used God in her bless- ing a day earlier. I told her I didn't know if anyone else noticed, but I did because the phrase I usually hear was merely "Bless you." This led to an interesting discussion of her Christian walk and her husband's also. Last month my wife Tanya and I were driving down a street in Kissimmee, Florida, just out- side Orlando, and we saw a ban- ner hanging off a light pole that said something along the lines of ',Bless Our Visitors." I turned to Tanya and asked why a banner would say such a thing and who or what is the blessing from? My thought was it was a compromise between two factions, one that wanted to put "God" on the ban: ner and another that said as a gov- ernmental entity they couldn't do SO. This gets us to the question, "Who has the power to 'bless' us?" I am not an expert on world religions, but I am confident that many deities believed in around the world would use the concept "bless," if not the word itself. The Bible speaks many times about blessing others. In the King James Version of the Bible, the word "bless" (or forms of the word) appears 522 times. God's first act after creating Adam and Eve was to speak a blessing over them. This is set out at Genesis 5:1-2, "When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created he called them man." Seven chapters later at Gen- esis 12:2-3 God calls Abram and promises to bless him, "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth Will be blessed through you." So if people want to be- blessed and if we have the power to bless others, why do we not generally verbalize a blessing on others except when they sneeze? Why don't we bless others when they burp or blow their nose? Why not bless another went they trip and then catch their balance? Or better yet, why not bless them just because they need to be blessed? How many opportunities do we have to bless others? How of- ten do we do so? What does it cost a person to speak a blessing on others? Who among us doesn't want to be blessed? Have you ever hear someone sneeze; been blessed by another, and they respond rudely to the one who said "Bless you?" When I was the New Mexico State Bar President a dozen years ago, I had the 'opportunity a few times to address the new admittees just before they were sworn in as new attorneys. Each time I finished my talk with a common Irish blessing. It goes like this, "As you run the course in the years ahead, may the roads rise to meet you, may the winds be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, may the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand." A very nice bless- ing written an ocean away. Are there some in your life that you don't want to be blessed? One of my clients has a bumper sticker that reads quite simply "GOD BLESS YOU, NO EXCEP- TIONS." I got a kick each time I saw it because in just five words it does embody what I believe God would like us to do. You are familiar with the Christian song that is titled "Count Your Many Blessings." If we spent more time counting out blessings, this world would be a better place. We spend too much time looking outward jealous of others who have be blessed. We need to look inward and each count our own blessings. My challenge to you is to maintain an attitude of blessing others as you go through your day. Verbalize blessings on one another. The test isn't do they want to be blessed. The test isn't do you like the person you are blessing. Everyone needs to be blessed...no exceptions. Don't wait for a sneeze to say "Bless you!" Find opportunities to speak blessings on each person you in- teract with. And if it is consistent with your beliefs, next time a person sneezes, don't say "Bless you," say "God bless you?' Just a thought... Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@ kraftandhunter, com mailto:thekraftlawfirm@aol.com or write to P.O. Box 850; Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850. A Picture From The P$00t.z SAgCEDOlLordsburg Photo courtesy dOE FIGOEROA/Lordsburg i i i ( y I: Third grade students dressed Left to right: Randy Berger, Joe Letters to the Editor The Hidalgo County Her- aid urges readers to voice their opin- ions by writing in. Letters can be mailed to 212 E. Motel Drive, Ste. B, or can be e-mailed to hcherald@aznex.net. Only let- ters that are signed by the au- thor will be considered for publication. All letters that are published should be consid- ered the opinion of the author, and not necessarily that of the Hidalgo County Herald. Read- ers are encouraged to practice their First Amendment right of free speech. Sunshine Portal Dear Editor: ....   "Particulars oncgovernmemt expenditures and taxatiom should be plain and available tto all if the oversight by the peopde is to be effective." -- Thomas Jeffersom With that quote in mind, I introduced SB 195 at the 20It0 Legislative session. This bill wiill create what we're calling a Sum- shine Portal. Lt. Governor Diane Denish signed the bill into la'w on March 5. The Sunshine Poal is a web site that will provide ey- e, New Mexico citizen with im- portant information on thestate.,'s finances and overall fiscal healtlh. More importantly, with the ve;il of concealment pulled away, it will provide citizens with info,r- mation to effectively oversee title operation of state government. Transparency in governmemt is critical right now. Creating a transparent government helps 1to overcome the growing mistrust people have with government at all levels. One way to reverse the skepticism many feel toward state government is to open the finan- cial data and the deci.sion maR: ing process to citizens. Armed with real and accurate data, and given the time to consider it, citi- zens will be more confident and better able to work with elected officials - and if appropriate - challenge some of decisions b,e- ing made with regard to govenn- ment investment and spending:. Much significant - and pr;e- in costume ready to perform in a school program. Photo taken in the hallway at Central-" Elementary School - Lordsburg, 1955 - '56. Figueroa, unidentified, Alfredo Laguna, Charles Walter, Tonya Reay (Lowery), Lloyd Reed, Edmund-. - Saucedo, Johnny Winebrenner, unidentified, and David Lehman - " - ? viously largely unavailable -- oversee the efficiency and effec- and the President. You lfioff'- information will be in a user- tlveness of government. When folks, that fellow is right, an.d J-- friendly format on the Sunshine fully operational beginning in believe that they have dckre a5 Portal. Here is just a brief list of July of 2011, the ;unshine Portal Damn sorry job of it!? Since on the information the public will be will provide the first step in this hundred years ago, that Same 545- able to find: process, people have almost destroyet'the ? A directory of all politi- Diane Kinderwater GREATEST COUNTRY- on cal appointees working in state Director of Communica- earth by passing all kinds of junk government by state agency, tions laws and taxes that nobody in showing each position's title, sal- Senate Minority Leader- their right mind wants to do busi- ary and political appointee's ship Office ness in theUnited States anymore. name. State agency contracts Ticked Off I don't blame them! The ESA, EPA, OSHA and hundreds of other with a total value of more than Dear Editor: "A's" from your lawmakers have $20,000, naming both the recipi- While I am thinking about made America a country of ents and purposes of thecontracts, it, being utterly pissed off, what "Gimme's", "Gimme". this, State cash balances by the Hell is going on with the "Gimme" that, because we do not account or fund. postal service? My wife sent our have real great jobs anymore. Just Monthly summaries of tax papers from Animas, New tell me anybody out there, WHY? the state's investment accounts Mexico to Deming, New Mexico Would any company want to managed by the State Investment (74 miles) on February 24 t, 2010, come here if the Federal Govern- Council. and as of March 10, 2010 they ment tells you what you can do, Annual operating bud- still have not been delivered to how to do it, when to do it, if you gets for each state agency with our tax preparer. The damn outfit can do it, then tax the Hell outof monthly expenxlitures by cat- should go broke. Maybe they the Company for doing ff and egory, should shut it down?! Oh, I for- making money at it? WHY% Appropriations for capi- got, it is run by the Federal Gov- I heard the Governmert is tal projects, identified by loca- ernment, WOW! That sure does going to tax a company billions tion, type, and funding source, make me feel good about the Fed- of dollars and give the money to Links to an open meet- eral Government getting into the Unions. I heard that ontele- ings website where each agency Healthcare. If the Government vision this morning. I wasn,t in will post all scheduled open takes over Healthcare and I need the room to see who was speak- meetings, an operation, is it going to take ing, but it was one of our elected An annual summary of care of the operation today, or is officials. WOW! What the Hell the state's fiscal health, includ- the Government going to wait ten right does the Government-lia,e ing the state budget, revenue pro- days longer? Hmmmm? I haven't to do that, and why are the Unions jections, and expenditures for the seen anything the Government getting the money? Folks, I ould previous fiscal year. has done lately that makes me go on and on, but you are igrob- The Sunshine Portal will also feel better! ably getting bored. Sorry! Pny provide additional information You know, when I was a kid, how, it is time to kick the whole that will assist the public in un- my folks moved us to the bunch out; Democrats, Republi- derstanding state government Lowerwells Camp into an old cans, and Independents a]il(e-!; operations and management of tarpaper shack that was 10x20 Start fresh!! Surely a dog c.att]eJ': taxpayer dollars. For the first time, feet. In the wintertime we lined could do a better job!! - ." - ." the public will have the opportu- the walls with cardboard boxes May God Bless our Top." nity to find out how every state to help keep the wind out and the and Country!! Hurry!!  " ." agency is managing its budget heat in. It didn't work really, but Gene Chadfirn" and contributing to - or being it helped. But, that was Papa's Ani.'/. detrimental to -- the state's fis- job, and as a line rider, via horse .... ___ . . cal health, back, he had to spend at least  ll/l[llt,ll]i " With the economy stagger- eight hours riding the Mexican ""--""*""".1.. ing, every dollar state government border; come rain, hail, sleet or  ii spends matters. The Sunshine whatever. Yet, I see Border Patrol 0 Portal will also provide an oppor- patrolling Hwy,. 9 forty-five miles . " tunity to evaluate whether tax from the Mexican border. WHY? dollars are being spent efficiently Does the name BORDER PA- and effectively. , TROL not mean anything? The Sunshine Portal is a WHY? powerful tool. But like any tool My name is probably already and not a magic bullet, it must be on a list, but folks, somebody has utilized by the citizens to be truly to say something! I am old and effective. As citizens, we must re- don't give a Damn. I received an commitment ourselves to the true e-mail from a fellow the other day nature of democracy and make and he made the statement that i i real Jefferson's notion. We must this great country is run by 545 ]ltOlll - . equip ourselves with the informa- people. The count includes the 8,I,Z .I " " tion that allows us to effectively Supreme Court, Congress, Senate, THANK YOU. As my MVD career comes to an end, I wish to express that I have enjoyed working for MVD this past 30 years. I have especially enjoyed the people I have had the privilege of serving and helping. You have all been very nice, friendly and patient with me. It has been a pleasure knowing all of you. I will really miss you all. Take care and God bless you all and I hope to see you around. LouAnne Gallegos 00IIlDOOR GAR WASH Saturday, March 20, 2010 9am- 3 pm 404 Wabash Street Lordsburg Volunteer Fire Department $5.00 donation Wash, Dry, & Vacuum