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Have you ever thought about the meaning of a handshake? It is something we all encounter countless times in our daily lives. But what does it really mean and how is it performed?
A handshake involves personal contact between two people. At the time it is performed, our hands meet with our palms vertical to the floor. One hand is not on top or below the other. It is, in its ideal form, a statement of equal, mutual respect. One person, at the time of contact, is not expressing superiority over the other.
Imagine, if at the point of contact, one person extends their hand with their palm parallel to the floor (not vertical), similar to images you may have seen of royalty greeting their subjects. At least to me, this signifies that the person extending their hand feels more important than the other person and, if the hand is accepted, it implies acceptance of inferiority – not of equal respect.
How does a handshake relate to Smiles Change Lives (SCL)? SCL is offering its hand to the families in our program with its palm vertical to the floor. Those who participate in our program do so because they do not sense a feeling of inferiority, but rather, a sense of mutual respect. They do not come with their hands open as a sign of supplication, but rather, offered in a handshake as a sign of equality.
In this way, we truly work in partnership with our families to help them change the lives of their children.