Saturday, July 20th, 2024

National Handshake Day--June 30th Story


by Rob Lauer

The handshake is one of the world's oldest forms of greeting. While its exact origin is unknown, paintings on ancient pottery depict Assyrian kings clasping hands to seal political alliances 3000 years ago. By 500 BC, the ancient Greeks used handshakes to confirm the absence of weapons and demonstrate peaceful intentions. In the mid-1600s, the Quakers made the handshake popular as a symbol of social equality instead of tipping one's hat or bowing.

In modern times, handshake styles vary culturally. In the West, handshakes are expected to be firm; in East Asia, a light grip and no eye contact are preferred. While the fist bump is fast becoming the greeting of choice with younger Americans, the handshake conveys so much more: respect, equality, trust, and goodwill.

"This gesture is key to first impressions and relationships," says Miryam Roddy, a professional development coach who founded National Handshake Day in 2005. Since then, National Handshake Day has been celebrated annually on the last Thursday of June, falling this year on June 30th.
The handshake is universally recognized as an expression of peace or goodwill that binds the human race together like a common language. It spreads positivity. (How often do you come across an angry handshake?} Because the handshake involves two people reaching out and physically touching one another,  it is a warm, positive gesture that can convey affection, goodwill, equality, sympathy, and gratitude.

On June 30th, express these feelings to someone by simply shaking their hand and adding a kind word or two.

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