Good afternoon Travellers,
I hope wherever you are the day that has arrived to greet you full of sunshine and warm breezes. I hope you are well, and that you have found a few simple pleasures to fill your eyes, or ears, or mouths and soul with joy in this rather difficult time of our existence.
I was thinking this morning as I was making my bed about what is this world going to be like without handshakes? Because I can’t see that gesture returning to the fold anytime soon, can you? And I’m not fist bumping or elbow bumping, that just seems like an injury waiting to happen, doesn’t it? And where’s the sincerity with either of those?
And I realize there are far greater impactful injustices that are occurring as I’m typing this, but the 24 hour news cyclists are going to drone on about all of that…Let’s change the channel for a moment…
Seriously, have you stopped and thought about what a handshake is and it’s history and significance within our social landscape?
AND the fact that we have taught a variety of other species to shake hands as well?? Cats, dogs, birds, monkeys, dolphins, okay, it’s a fin, but it must be important to us if we felt we needed to pass it on to all of them. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never witnessed any of those creatures shaking paws, claws, beaks or fins amoungst themselves, have you??
I know when my dog Ramona learned to shake, it was a historical moment in our household. Because the level of that cuteness borders on nuclear. And don’t get me started on the miracle of a cat shaking your hand…
Think about all the meetings and greetings, hellos and goodbyes, congratulations and I’m sorry applications. It can be a salve on an unfortunate outcome. Think about all the gentlemen’s agreements that have been sealed with a handshake. Business deals, bets, even marriages in some cultures. Good sportsmanship is conveyed with a handshake. And it’s pretty universal across all human culture, isn’t it?
Millions, maybe billions of palm to palm, flesh to flesh transactions over centuries of human existence. Just bask in that wonder…
There’s a lot to be said about the character of a human based on how they shake hands, isn’t there? I’m looking at you, the limp-wristed dead fish hand shakers. What is up with that? Or the half shake, where you are basically just using the fingers or finger tips and not your whole hand?
Why would you not use your whole hand??
And I’m giggling as I write these words, not in judgment, but seriously what the f*ck people?
As a woman, I learned early to shake a hand like I mean it with both men and women. In equal measure. Looking people in the eye. NOT in a dominant twisting my hand over your hand, squashing your hand in my hand till all the color drains out of your phalanges, BUT in an “I see you, and meet you here half way”. It’s firm, yet friendly, a matched meeting of sorts.
Because it takes two hands from two separate individuals to make a whole handshake. Right?
I’ve always enjoyed meeting people with a handshake, don’t you? It’s just a solid good human socially accepted and somewhat expected behavior. Maybe I’m old school. I just can’t imagine meeting anyone without shaking their hand.
And over the years, that little transaction has been the beginning of many great relationships both professionally and personally for me. And some not so great ones as well. But it’s a beginning point that I’m pretty sure we aren’t going to have for awhile.
And I feel just a little sad about it. And all the other things the virus will change for us that we have taken for granted over the years.