National Hand Shake Day!

The last Thursday of each June is recognized as National Handshake Day, this year falling on Thursday the 27th. The purpose of this day is to celebrate the importance of this gesture in forming first impressions and relationships between two individuals.

The clasping of hands is one of the most ancient of greetings. A non-verbal form of communication; it may well have predated speech. A 5th century B.C. stele in Ancient Greece shows two soldiers face to face clasping hands. Historians tell us that the handshake has long been a way for martial men to each assure that the other man was unarmed; to be sure no weapons were hidden in hands or sleeves. In many countries, and indeed until more recent times in the United States, only men shake hands, supporting the veracity of this theory. A gesture of peace, used by both men and women, now it plays an important role in many religious services, buisness deals,”let’s shake on it,” and formal and informal greetings and farewells.

The handshake today varies greatly around the world, in firmness and amount of eye contact. There are secret handshakes, identifying the individual as an accepted member of a group, club, or society. The closely guarded secret handshake of the Freemason’s is one example. On a very different scientific and metaphysical level, we know that when we have physical contact, skin to skin, we are in touch, literally, with that person. Electrical and thermal energy, and even minute particles of DNA are exchanged in that contact. When we grasp the hand of another living being we are agreeing to share a little bit of our intimate selves for a few moments. There are those rare and magical moments when the life force between those two hands really connects us, and is present and tangible.

Being seen, acknowledged and recognized, is essential to our growth and contentment as the social animals that we are. Not receiving that nonthreatening attention is one of the most damaging things that can happen to our hearts, our souls and our physical bodies. We have the power to turn that around, to make a real difference in someone else’s life, right in our hands.

Use your powers! Make it a point to take someone’s hand today, and let them know that you recognize their existence, that you really see them. You have that Power!

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Beth Shaw