Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

What does "blessed" mean to you?

Asked by Cruiser (34984 points ) May 1st, 2014

Today as I was departing the checkout counter the young cashier said “have a blessed day”! I don’t often hear that and as an atheist it kinda caught me off guard but being raised Catholic, the intent and meaning was not lost on me and I thanked him and wished him a great day.

So I ask what does blessed mean to you and if someone you didn’t know wished you a blessed day, what might that person be meaning to say? Would you in anyway be offended or put off that a stranger said that to you?

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35 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

Down here in the city, it’s a common phrase in the African-American community.

Really, “Goodbye” has the very same connotation (“God be with you”), and I’m not sure that “Have a blessed day” is necessarily offered with much regard to it’s religious significance. Here, it’s just an expression of good will.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I will get back to you kin that.

antimatter's avatar

You don’t need to be of any religion to say that, it’s a very nice way to be polite.

KNOWITALL's avatar

i feel it’s just wishing good will, like bless you on a sneeze. Our Popeyes says it to all in the drive thru.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I find those types of comments are usually put forth to make the speaker feel better about themselves, and have very little to do with their level of caring for the one they are speaking to.

hearkat's avatar

I hear it from many of my patients and I thank them and wish them the same. I agree that “goodbye” and “adios” and “adieu” have religious roots, but are now part of the common culture and have lost their religious meaning; but “have a blessed day” does still seem to have the religious significance, since it is a proportionately small number of people who say it.

JLeslie's avatar

Blessed to me in general has usually a religious connotation to it. I think of God blessing someone with good fortune. However, how it is used in a sentence really matters.

If somene says to me “have a blessed day” that means to me the person is an Evangelical Christian.

If I tell my aunt a story about a person who went through a lot to help others, she might say, “God bless him,” but it is said without religion, but rather just an expression of what a giving person he is. You know because of how she says it and also she is an atheist. Just like when my mom says, “why is God punishing me?” She also is an atheist.

My husband started to say, “I feel blessed,” a few times after living around so many evangelicals who use the word blessed often. He would say it and catch himself. He is a theist, but he doesn’t like outwardly religious people, he doesn’t like when singers thank God or say they feel blessed when they win an award. He had picked it up like picking up other expressions and used to say he felt grateful and lucky. He only said it a few times, he didn’t want it to be part of his every day language.

dappled_leaves's avatar

The bottom line is that they wish you well, and I try to take that at face value, even if a “blessing” is meaningless and valueless to me. But of course, you will also encounter people who use it as a passive-aggressive slight.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

When someone says to be ”have a blessed day” it means to be held in good fortune, with traveling mercies, having a hedge around me against hurt, harm or danger. To have fortune I did not earn or could create myself but receive as a gift from Him.

Cruiser's avatar

FWIW @Hypocrisy_Central That is exactly how I took it to mean

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central “it means to be held in good fortune”

Surely not – fortune is luck (unless you mean the goddess Fortune), the stuff of gambling. I would be surprised if wanted anyone to confuse a blessing with luck.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves Well, that is exactly what I said. That my husband had used blessed to mean grateful or lucky a few times, and then caught himself and took it out of his language. as in, “I feel blessed.” Have a blessed day is a different matter.

livelaughlove21's avatar

It means nothing. Just like when a cashier tells you to have a “great/nice day” – it’s just a trite, overused saying, especially in the South. You know what they’re really thinking is, “okay, there, take your shit and get out of my face.” Or maybe that was just me when I was working in customer service.

My dad owns his own used appliance business and he says he tells white folks to have a great day and black folks to have a blessed day. He seems to think southern black people are more religious than the white ones. Hey, who am I to say he’s wrong? I don’t bother knowing such things.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I find it so odd when people use “religious” language in a place of business.

flutherother's avatar

I’ve never heard the word used in this context. It would grate with me and I hope it doesn’t catch on. Not much chance that it will in the atheistical UK.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@dappled_leaves Surely not – fortune is luck (unless you mean the goddess Fortune), the stuff of gambling. I would be surprised if wanted anyone to confuse a blessing with luck.
For lack of a better word, I used ”fortune” because that is a concept many can grasp, I could have used another terminology but since the concept of using it is foreign to many it would get lost more than the use of “fortune”.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie The South…it’s a whole other world for most of civilization.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I just say “thanks” and move on. I consider it a meaningless throwaway line the cashier was told to say, like “Thank you for Shopping WallyWorld.”

The term Blessed to me is interchangeable with “Lucky” . As in: “The blood test result was perfect. I am (blessed/lucky).” I feel blessed. = I feel lucky.

I use the term “bless-ed” when I denote a hint of sarcasm. “Lynn’s 15 year old daughter is going to have her second baby next month. I was asked to attend the Bless-ed event.”

If someone says it to me in a loaded way, I answer: “And may the Luck o’ the Irish be wit you, too.” and move on.
Life is too short.

Cruiser's avatar

@LuckyGuy As a matter of context, this happened at the drive through of a McDonald’s in suburban Chicago and he was a young African American male who was nice and sincere. I really can’t imagine the management there is encouraging their counter people to give customers the salutation ‘have a blessed day’.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Cruiser You wrote:” I really can’t imagine the management there is encouraging their counter people to give customers the salutation ‘have a blessed day’.

I can’t either. He’d get “And may the Luck o’ the Irish be wit you, too Laddie.” as I drove away.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Yeah, I know. That’s where I heard stuff like that, the south. The bible belt. That’s why I associate it with the Evangelicals and not the Catholics, although the OP said as a Catholic the meaning and intent was not lost him. I still doubt a lot of his Catholic peers say it. I find it odd that workplaces think it is ok to say something like that, or that people feel ok saying it at work, but it is such a part of the south they have no clue to some people it sounds very odd or even unnerving. I know there certianly is no mal intent. I usually feel people deeply mean it when they say have a blessed day. That it comes from a good place of well wishes, not that they are just saying it and thinking, take your bag and go. It took me a few years not to be very uncomfortable around all the “religious talk.”

I’ve always been very comfortable around religious people, to the point that I often see beauty in the ritual and the spiritualness and when they find peace and love in their religion. But, it’s when it is directed at me, or put on me that I feel uneasy. I might not be explaining it well. My MIL is very religious. She has a huge framed picture of Jesus in her bedroom. She has crosses around the house, rosary beads, she watches her church channel, she goes to church once or twice a week. She crosses my husband before we leave when we visit her. None of it bothers me for one second. It never has. But, if she was throwing blessed, God, and sin in her conversations with me constantly it would be odd to me. It’s probably illogical.

Aster's avatar

An elderly man who sometimes carries my groceries to the car always says this. It just means “have a wonderful day.”
At the chain in our city you don’t carry or bag or unload your groceries yourself.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

“have a wonderful day.”
That clears things up, I can so understand that better. ~~

kevbo's avatar

I find it less disturbing than “Have a blendsational day!” which is what you get when you go to Keva Juice. That is information I don’t know how to use.

ucme's avatar

A very loud, shouty British actor named Brian.

Blondesjon's avatar

Twelve inches.

wildpotato's avatar

To me it means two things simultaneously: “I am a Christian! ” and “Have a nice day.” I don’t feel offended, but am perhaps slightly put off. It feels like they are implicitly assuming I am also Christian, or at least religious, and I dislike it when strangers make assumptions about me.

prolificus's avatar

For me, being blessed is the moment of choosing to be satisfied with how much or how little I’ve been given (health, wealth, friendships, etc. etc.).

For a stranger to wish me a blessed day would only be a reminder. I take it for how I want to use it, not for how the stranger intends it.

Aster's avatar

For the people on here who are so offended by being told , “have a blessed day” you need to shop in Arkansas so you can be shut down verbally by grocery carriers. I used to have one who handed me a New Testament while carrying out my groceries. A little miniature one. Better he had pulled a knife? SMH

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Aster Where do you see anyone here being so insulted? I think you are reading anger and outrage where there is only minor annoyance.

“Better he had pulled a knife?” Ummmm, no. That’s a weird conclusion to jump to. Better he had not pulled a bible, perhaps.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster Offended is too strong a word. Uncomfortable at worst I think describes it better, or unusual for some people. In Chicago it would be odd for someone to say it in a McDonald’s I think, except that this particular black man the OP refers to probably is an Evangelical Christian and in his circles it is a common thing to say. It really sounds like a foreign language to some of us.

Cruiser's avatar

@Aster I do not need to come to Arkansas to experience that….plenty of them up here. I have a local customer that sends me prayer psalms with every check he sends in. I have this other guy who is nothing more than a friend of the old owner who still comes by and praises the Lord the entire time he is here and then insists on saying a prayer over all of us before he leaves. I must still have a fear of God streak in me because I just don’t have it in me to tell him to cut it out.

Aster's avatar

LOL that second guy sounds like a nutcase. hahaha!!! Very annoying.

SnoopyGirl's avatar

“Have a blessed day” to me means to have a wonderful, peaceful day filled with blessings. It’s a friendly way of saying to make it a great day and to count your blessings. Be happy!

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