Shake, Shake, Shake

I went into the shopping mall the other day and was approached by a young man wanting to shake my hand. Instinctively I offered my hand only to discover it was a ploy to make contact in order to sell from his sales kiosk. Junk mail with a handshake, what next?

I have to say, I was appalled. A handshake to me is a measure of friendship and trust and it plays no role in cajoling a person in order to make a sales pitch. It’s downright deceitful and frankly, un-Australian. Or is it? I decided to investigate further.

Handshabear+handshake+in+the+rain.+bear+handshake+in+the+rain_32a091_4226811kes have been around since around the 5th century BC. How do I know this? Internet, of course.

Back then it was a display of trust and peace predominantly to display that no weapons were being held or concealed. Even today we recognise exposing the palms of our hands to mean the same.

As time passed it became a measure of trust so recognised that business deals were accepted and consolidated on the strength of a handshake.

Handshakes come in many ways and can generally determine the character and intent of the giver and receiver. Both hands delivered vertically display equality however the insecure will try to display domination by placing their hand palm down whilst the meek will supplicate by placing their hand palm facing up. It’s always interesting greeting both of these character types and I prefer to take both of these characters hands and turning them vertical. It’s just my way. Trying to assume domination over another party is pathetic.

And we shouldn’t forget the “wet fish” handshake. Trying to analyse this character is more difficult due to some cultures actually preferring to use this method. Strangely though, most aren’t even aware that they’re doing it.

But things have changed in this modern world. The strength of a “gentleman’s handshake” is no longer accepted in a legal world and sadly “you should have got that in writing”.

Call me old fashioned and, I suppose as a Boomer I am, but I still live by the creed. A handshake to me is sacrosanct and one’s word is accepted once the handshake is effected.

I have only twice had the experience of another party reneging on the agreement of a handshake. In both of these cases I now believe these people to be of low moral character and can only wish them well in the lowly world in which they choose to preside. (I don’t really wish them well… In fact I “nothing” them)

On a more positive note I can relate a story told to me by a friend when his son met the Aussie Rules football icon Ron Barassi. The young lad shook hands but Ron, as he does and is, coached him further. “Always give a firm handshake and look the other person in the eye” was his sageful advice.

Good words indeed.

As I stated I am old-fashioned when it comes to certain customs and regardless of the legal position I will continue to honour and trust the strength of a handshake. Suffer the consequences I may, but if I adjust my faith in this world I would not be true to myself.


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