This will be a post that could have been written in the future but it’s applicable today and likely into the future. I actually shook hands this morning.
Except for him though, I can’t recall the last time I shook hands.
But, I learned young that was how you greeted someone. My dad, a banker, modelled it all the time. You don’t just say “Hi!”, you get up, go over and shake their hand. Skin to skin contact was important. At the same time, you need to make eye contact.
When I was in Scouts, one of the things I learned was that I was doing it wrong. I learned that good Scouts always shook with their left hand because it symbolically meant that you put down your shield as a sign of trust for who you’re shaking hands with. Of course, it assumed that everyone was right handed, with weapon in the right and shield in the left.
But, that was the only place you’d do that. If you offered your left hand to a person, they’d be awkward about accepting it unless they had been a scout as well.
I think we’re all recognizing that the handshake may be long gone once society returns to its new normal.
As I think about this, I think of some memorable handshakes in my life.
- my previous doctor on my last visit to him. He never did but he shook my hand that day. Sadly, he has since passed away
- my new doctor always shakes hands when she comes into the room. I suspect that will change going forward
- at every graduation – elementary school, high school, two universities – I shook hands as I received my diplomas
- related to this, after every hockey, football, or basketball game when the two teams line up and do the “good game, good game, good game” routine. To be truthful, it’s not really a handshake, it’s more of a slap or tap
- at every wedding I ever attended in the receiving line. Nothing more tiring though than my own wedding where I shook hands with everyone
- when I signed my contract at my school and got a tour of the school. I must have really had the Adrenalin flowing as it’s a standing joke between myself and the Automotive teacher that I “almost broke his hand” when introduced
For a Sunday, your thoughts…
- when was the last time you shook hands?
- did you belong to an organization where you shook with the left hand? Is it just Scouts?
- do you have any memorable handshakes in your life?
- will you continue to shake hands after all this is over?
- if you won’t, what will you do instead?
- if you won’t and someone extends a hand to you, how will you respond?
I’d be most interested in your thoughts on this. Please share them in the comments below.
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