As-salamu alaykum. Have a blessed day.

As-salamu alaykum. Have a blessed day.
by Jamison Koehler on November 16, 2022
Baltimore graffiti

My daughter obtained mad at me a couple of years ago for posting a website entry in this article complaining about the panhandlers on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Baltimore.

Carrying out the daily commute from Baltimore to D.C. at that time, I was beginning to truly feel oppressed by the mournful appears to be of the panhandlers shuffling by me at each and every stoplight on Martin Luther King Avenue.  On my way to get the job done. On my way house.

My blog entry was intended to be clever, light-hearted.  My daughter imagined it was churlish.

You don’t want your daughter to consider you are churlish.  

Though I am no longer commuting from Baltimore, I do move by way of Union Station every day, and Union Station has its very own difficulties with panhandlers.

Also criminal offense:   I have represented a lot of folks accused of obtaining dedicated a felony offense at the station, together with a current stabbing.  I know where each individual surveillance digital camera is found.  I can not aid strolling by way of the station without experience that I am currently being viewed, devoid of imagining what my image looks like on the modest Television set observe in the manage space.  

I am still churlish, specially when it arrives to the additional aggressive panhandlers who technique your desk at Chopt or Chipotle.  

But I do make an exception for this just one specific dude.  I be reluctant to connect with him a panhandler mainly because he never essentially asks any person for dollars.  Instead, standing by the major of the escalator down to the metro station, he bids everybody who passes him a blessed day. 

I have a difficulty with individuals telling me to have a blessed day.  (Did not my daughter accuse me of remaining churlish?)  I do not like to have people’s religious beliefs foisted on me.  

I let this move for a pair of times.  Then, not currently being capable to aid myself, I gave him my conventional “allahu akbar!” response. 

I imagined I might be the only particular person who finds that clever.  But he acquired it quickly.  He laughed.  He patted his coronary heart. And then we bumped fists.

The up coming day we had the precise similar trade, apart from this time, obtaining accomplished his research, he prolonged it. “As-salamu alaykum,” he additional.  And then:  “Have a blessed working day.”  

Yet again, we laughed.  We bumped fists.  I had to ask my son for the response to this: “Wa alaikum assalam.” 

This man and I have been finest buddies ever due to the fact.    

It has gotten to the issue wherever I seem forward to seeing him every single morning.  We do our tiny trade, our private joke, and then we fist bump, and I continue on onto the metro smiling and in considerably far better spirits.  

On the rare days he is not at his customary publish, I am dissatisfied.  Usually I can hear him wishing people today a blessed day just before I can see him. A person time I came close to the corner to locate he was not there.  Then I listened to a chuckle guiding me:  “You ended up searching for me,” he explained.  “Weren’t you?”

Of program I was.  

As-salamu alaykum.  Have a blessed day.