Have you ever realized how silly it is to tell someone to "be careful" or "be safe" upon their departure? I mean, are they likely to forget that? Understanding that it's all with good intentions... I usually interpret it to mean that they care... but only along the same lines that someone might ask "How are you?" Just something to say. OR... when someone says "bless you!" when you sneeze... since I'm in the habit of sneezing umpteen times in a row, it's a phrase I've heard often. (I always say, "oh please! please! No more blessings!) I guess it's one of the things we learn as part of "manners." How many people do you think stop to wonder, "What does 'bless you' have to do with sneezing?" They just do it, because mom or dad or grandma told them to. It could also give them relief because it is uncomfortable when you are standing next to a person who begins to sneeze uncontrollably... what you'd like to say is "What in the hell is that all about?" along with "Please keep your distance." BUT out comes... "Bless you!" I can only assume that some of these people are even athiests. Which explains the shortening of the phrase from "God bless you!"
It is in fact from the superstitious belief (I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and call it Catholic) that when you sneeze, your soul temporarily escapes your body, leaving it susceptible to being snatched up by the devil! Man, oh man! If that's not enough to scare you into holding in a sneeze! THANK GOD that if someone says "Bless you!" in time, you don't have to worry about that danger! You are protected from the devil, indeed! (I've no idea what we do if we're alone. I think it doesn't count if you say it yourself, not to mention the fact that if you are sneezing, you can't talk!) That devil is a crafty fella... there is no END to the lengths he will go to get a soul...
In finalization, let me just admonish all of you...
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