“A good thing to do”

I’m not sure how — perhaps from my dad, perhaps from some time in European cities where it was a standard social act — I somehow picked up the habit of shaking hands with someone at the end of an encounter. I like it; it seems natural; and it literally gives a human touch to interactions that are often otherwise impersonal transactions.

This came to my mind yesterday when a storekeeper took my hand with a look of surprise when I offered it to him at the end of our brief encounter. “Thanks,” he said. “No one shakes hands any more. It’s a good thing to do.”

SImple words, but true. “It’s a good thing to do.”

Give it a try. Something is passed in the human touch that cannot be passed in any other way. In an increasingly less civil world, it is a good way to reassert our common human connectedness and to remind us that there is a person, no less important than we are, on the other side of every encounter.

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