Tuesday, May 19, 2009


He seemed put upon; I was a little early.
"We open at ten!"
It was 9:00am. He stepped behind the counter and brought out the required form to be completed as part of the car's new insurance inspection.
He was curt, unfriendly. Outside he snapped a few pictures of my car, and handed over a copy of the completed form.
"Thank you so much," I said sincerely. I did appreciate his accommodation to my time schedule."May Allah bless you!"
A wide smile crossed his dark, Middle Eastern face.
"Allah bless you too!" he replied good naturedly.
"He should bless all of us, " I echoed back as I slipped back into the car.
Another example of how simple it is to transform a mood of sullenness into a moment of good cheer and friendliness.
Knowing that he was Moslem- I overheard him talking Arabic to his co-worker-I greeted him in the vocabulary of his own tradition and culture. And it worked! Imagine, I thought, if all over the world, we blessed one another in the language of the one being greeted. How many smiles would mushroom forth on the faces of so many. Interactions which were business-like and aloof could easily be changed into exchanges of personal warmth and greater intimacy.
I am realistic enough to understand that the world would not be that significantly different, but who knows what could unfold if such everyday greetings were to pervade our planet and become the emotional vernacular of international discourse? We all have to begin somewhere-I am grateful for the opportunity to bless anyone, anywhere.

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