Competitive Blessings – the game


Walk around the room or wherever you are. Look for someone who might be looking for you. Walk up to them. A little closer. Maybe smile even. And then ask them for a blessing. Any blessing will do. And when they bless you. Bless them back, better.

A round of competitive blessings might go like this:

  • You say: bless me please, my friend
  • And I say: May the fruits of your labors never spoil
  • And you say: And may they all be beautiful
  • And I say: And ripe
  • And you: And may there be free same-day delivery 
  • You say: At no extra charge

At which we arrive at the crucial step of ending the round of what clearly could be going round for quite some time. And

  • I say: Amen

Amen. How indescribably profound it is of me to end the game so simply, without anyone winning, with everyone winning. 



Alternative Blessing Cycles


But if you do (or don't, or isn't)

  • I say: Bless me please o blessed of all blessers
  • And you say: May you never run out of toilet paper
  • And I say: But if you do, may there be a box of tissues near by
  • And you: And if there isn't, may there at least be a sink in easy reach


Combined with the standard blessing augmentation:

  • You say: With a clean towel right over it
  • I say: And a bottle of antibacterial soap
  • You say: And a can of deodorant
  • I say: Amen


Yes, yes, you might say, it's a game. And it's competitive, in a way. But, you might wonder, if it's so competitive how do you win?

That's the blessing of this particular game. All you have to do to win, is play.


Blessing Starters


Here are some competitive blessings starters, to help you get, well, started:

  • May you be happier than a lark
  • May you never be taken to be sillier than you want to be or more seriously than you think you are
  • May this blessing make more sense to you than it does to me
  • May your company remark on the cleanitude of your window sills
  • May your optimism be based in realism and your pessimism totally unfounded
  • May you be wise enough to know how lucky you are, and v.v.
  • May all your accidents be happy
  • May you have as much money as you know what to do with
  • May you look happier than you have a right to be, and feel happier than you look
  • May your injuries heal before anyone adds insult to them
  • May all those who bless you be blessed
  • May your misery have company
  • And finally, from a traditional Hebrew prayer: “May all the holes in your body that are supposed to be open stay open, and may all the other ones that should be closed stay closed.

When my wonderful friend Zalman and his amazing wife Eve were last in town, we arranged to meet in West LA for some hugs and Indian food. After dinner he and I and our delicious wives (Rocky, mine, Eve, his) were almost actually accosted by a briefcase carrying, suit-wearing man wielding a paperback book. Being the warm and terminally polite people we like to be, we were immediately subjected to a sales pitch of stunning complexity and only minimal coherence. He had written and published a book proving that Abraham's little-known wife Keturah was the progenitor of most of the civilized world and Denmark (something about the tribe of Dan).

Now, Zalman was a biblical scholar of great depth and high repute. When the bookseller asked rhetorically, "and, how many people know who Abraham's other wife was?" Zalman answered his question immediately. And yet never once in his entire monologue did the impassioned author deign to find out with whom he was actually speaking.

At the end of the pitch, the guy explained to us that he was going to offer us a very special opportunity. That for $20 dollars, he'd not only sell us his book, but sign it, personally.

"All right," said Zalman, "I'll make you a bargain. I'll buy your book, but I want something extra."

"Of course," replied the self-proclaimed proclaimer, "I'll be happy to dedicate it to you or any person of your choosing."

"Thank you," said Zalman, "but I want something else. Something even more special. I want your blessing."

The fact is, I don't remember what the blessing was. But I do remember how Zalman, with his simple request, transformed this whole somewhat seamy encounter into a profoundly moving spiritual experience.

From that day on, I've made Competitive Blessings - the Game an integral part of my work.

see also Games of Endless Gratitude

Here are a few sources for more blessings sources:


  1. Mary Adshead on November 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    thank you very much Bernie. Loved the blessings and the frog, really cheered me up.
    May you always live a life full of love and laughter and and may you and all your loved ones be vibrantly healthy.
    May we have peace and harmony in the world, and may there be numerous frequent playing of your kind of games with all types and ages of people, all over the planet.

    I do wish you a long healthy and happy rest of your life.
    You will definitely go to heaven when you die for all the good you have done. Thank you very much again. God bless you, and all your loved ones, and all those who play your games,
    warm regards
    From Mary

    • chris collins on September 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      May you be surprised by the best surprises made only for you and only as big as you can handle!Reference

      • Bernard De Koven on October 1, 2015 at 9:18 am

        And may those surprises take me by surprise to some surprisingly beautiful truths with which I may surprise you.

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