The other day I told someone “may God bless you”, which is nothing more than a blessing in the person’s endeavors. I received a reply that started with “I’m not a believer but…” After some thought this made me wonder what makes a person throw in a disclaimer to a greeting or blessing.
In all my travels around the world which includes 36 different countries, whenever I have been greeted or blessed by someone of another faith/belief system, I have returned the greeting. It is all about the good will expressed by the giver and I’ve always been grateful and returned the greeting with the same earnest.
If you are greeted by a Buddhist who says “Namaste”, do you reply “I’m not Buddhist, but thank you”? I’ve never seen that, but I have seen non-believers return the blessing.
If you are greeted by a Sikh with “Sat Sri Akaal”, do you reply “I’m not Sikh, but thank you”? I’ve never seen that, but I have seen non-believers return the greeting.
If someone greets you “Shalom”, do you reply I’m not Jewish but thank you? I’ve never seen that, but I have seen non-believers return this greeting too.
All of these are greetings of good will and when received, whether you are a person of similar interest or not, you should just accept the greeting with the good will it was intended.
To the person, whom I will not call out, who was the catalyst for the reflection that resulted in this post, this is not intended as a lecture or castigation, it is merely my attempt at enlightenment.