Have you ever listened to the odd sound that a fax machine makes when it is trying to connect with another fax machine?  There is a weird series of whirs and whistles.  This series of sounds is called a handshake.  Machine A is trying to figure out what frequency machine B is on so it can send the fax correctly.  When they are able to properly connect it is the same as two people shaking hands.

When people shake hands they are communicating in a basic way.  At a primal level they are saying they aren’t holding any weapons.  Simply touching another person is a big deal.  We have a lot of rules about personal space.  It is seen as rude to get too close to someone.  People stand about a foot and a half away from each other in line.  But when we shake hands we have to get closer than that.

Just offering to shake someone’s hand is a big deal.  They can refuse.  Or they could want a hug instead.  There is a bit of jostling about to figure out what the other person wants out of that interaction.

What about a wave, or a smile?  Have you ever noticed that if you wave “hello” to a stranger they will invariably wave back?  The same is true for a smile.  Remember the saying “Laugh, and the world laughs with you, cry, and you cry alone”?  Substitute “smile” for “laugh” and you are on to something. Try smiling at a stranger today and see what happens.


About betsybeadhead

Hello, and Welcome. My name is Betsy, and I like beads and prayers. Fortunately those two things are more related than I ever realized. You are invited to “like” my Facebook page titled “Betsy Beadhead” and thus see what I’m talking about in my posts when I try to explain something using beads rather than words. This whole thing started because of that. Then I couldn't figure out how to post pictures so I just started writing. I string together words the same way I string together beads, and both serve the same purpose. I work at a library, surrounded by ideas brushing up against each other. I draw, paint, and collage. I study world religions. In all these experiences I like combining different things and making new things, and stretching my understanding of what “is” and what “has to be.” You are welcome to share my posts - just please give credit where credit is due. I'm anti-censorship but I'm also anti-plagiarism.
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