Understanding greetings of shaking hands

Shaking hands

To the observer it seems that some persons simply thrive on shaking hands. They do it when first meeting in the day, even with old acquaintances, and then again when parting.

This procedure may even be repeated several times a day if these acquaintances should often cross one another’s path.

In countries where this is customary it could be taken as an insult if this manual greeting were overlooked either in coming or in going.

But not everyone is enthusiastic about it. Some say: “Such stiff formality!” “Why can’t a person just be natural?” “How impractical!”

 “Besides, I think it must be unsanitary spreading all those germs with such close contact!”

Attitudes and customs do differ, don’t they? 

There are other folks who would prefer kissing or hugging or rubbing noses, or just a simple bow.

As long as these greeting customs do not overstep your principles of conscience, why not be adaptable when in another’s country, not ignoring his way of life and expecting him to change to yours?

Whatever the form of greeting, it warms us inside when we sense that it is heartfelt and sincere!

While some say the Romans first began using the handshake as a greeting, evidently it was during the Middle Ages that the handshake became a common custom in Europe.

Presenting the hand in a certain predetermined manner also served as a token of identification to indicate belonging to some particular group or guild.

Such a distinctive marking of membership in a group or of sharing a particular way of thinking remains in use even today.


Different types of hand shakers


And now, would you like to meet a few typical hand shakers of our day? Each has his distinguishing grip.

The first one we meet will eagerly embrace your gently extended hand with a crunch. 

You are afraid to move your hand now for fear all the bones are broken and if you are wearing a ring you will nurse bruises for several days.

But not everyone is so full of vitality. For instance, our next friend here.

The coolness and dampness you feel when his hand limply and lustlessly dangles in your grip make you gape to see if it is not rather a fish you may have caught. 

Our third friend is heartier, and his shake, or “pump,” is designed to last awhile.

Of course, there are others who employ the hit-and-miss system. You just never seem to get a proper grip on them, as you discover their hand slipping past your thumb and running up your arm.

And perhaps you have met the “I-couldn’t-careless” type who, while holding out his hand to you, has his head busily turned away looking at something else so that as the hands meet there is no meeting of the eyes.

Last is the greatest upholder of the handshaking tradition of them all. If he finds his hands too full or occupied to do it properly, then he will offer you a little finger or an elbow for tradition’s sake.

What was your impression of those just introduced?

Some show a definite awareness of the impression they are making by the precise and deliberate way they press their hand into yours.

They try to show firmness with graciousness and give an extra little twist as proof of a warm strong personality.

Yes, a handshake does tell a lot about a person’s characteristics. But a natural person who does not take himself too seriously is always appreciated.

Being Balanced in Handshaking


Although not being rule-bound, here are a few situations where reason should rule.

Perhaps the unaccustomed hand shaker is justified in feeling that the habit is impractical when, after entering a room at a gathering, he must undergo the ritual of palm pressing once again each time someone enters anew.

And if late to a meeting, or discussion that is already under way, it would be a considerate thing usually to take a seat quietly without feeling the necessity to interrupt to shake everyone’s hand.

One might feel it to be rude to overlook someone with this formal greeting of the handshake, but it may be more respectful and considerate to wait for the natural and convenient moment to express one’s joy at seeing one’s friends.

And have you ever considered how unappetizing it might seem to some if they are forced to grip one or more unwashed hands during a meal?

If you are a time-saver you may have been annoyed only by the frequency of this social act rather than by the act itself. 

Take, as an example, the Germans, whose custom of handshaking is held in utmost esteem, but who are now beginning to wonder whether greeting the same person a dozen times a day by shaking his hand may not be going a little too far.

Time magazine made this observation: 

Some German personnel managers figure that their employees spend a minimum of 20 minutes a day on the job shaking hands.”

Germany’s Expert Committee for Good Manners has expressed itself like this: 

Exaggerated handshaking is unappreciated and in fact often makes personal contact more difficult to achieve. It is sufficient to shake hands the first time you meet.”

So, now, trying to be reasonable about using the normal handshake, the simplest suggestion to remember would be:

Show heartfelt warmth while using discernment. Then we will have no trouble being natural, instead of blindly following tradition.

Now it is time to say good-bye. But do you say you do not want to do it with a pat on the back or with a kiss or a hug? All right, then, let’s shake hands!

Read more…

How the human body solves engineering problems?

Motorbike race at Coshocton Fair.
From a completely objective viewpoint, the human body is the most marvelous structure we know of. It is a masterpiece of engineering. The daily pounding to which bones and muscles are subjected is so great that it would cause some machines to wear out after only a few years.” 
These are descriptions given by persons who have made a careful study of the human body.

Engineers see to it that bridges, tunnels, buildings and the like will be able to withstand far more than the usual stresses to which they will be subjected. 

The strength that is beyond what would ordinarily be sufficient provides a margin of safety. 

To be described as an “engineering marvel,” the human body should, therefore, have extraordinary safety factors. Does it?

The body safety features


Most of the blood chemicals are in a delicate balance. But there is still a rather wide built-in margin of safety. 

For example, the blood-sugar level is considered “normal” if present in amounts of 80 to 120 milligrams per 100 cubic centimeters of blood. 

However, the blood-sugar level can drop considerably without giving rise to serious problems. 

Not until it plunges to about half normal,or below about 50 milligrams per 100 cubic centimeters, will the person experience ill effects.

The heart is capable of doubling its rate of contraction, pumping out about double the volume of blood. 

At the same time, the arterial blood pressure may increase by 30 or 40 percent. Yet, unless previously damaged, the heart is able to take on this extra load without any difficulty.

The volume of oxygen transported in the bloodstream from the lungs is three and a half times as great as is generally used by the tissues. 

Because of this, one lung may cease functioning, or be completely removed surgically, and yet life can continue with reasonably normal respiratory efficiency.

Astounding, too, is the body’s ability to endure surgical removal of vital organs. For example, one kidney may be removed without severely endangering a person’s life. 

With only about half a kidney remaining, a person may continue to live without being plagued by serious kidney troubles.

Within less than two days, the person losing both of his adrenal glands would die. Yet, with only a tenth of the adrenal tissue remaining, he can continue living.

Doctors have cut away large sections of the brain without endangering the patient’s life or seriously affecting mental and physical functions. 

The brain is also well protected from injury by the hard skull.

Other organs can likewise continue their essential functions when large sections are removed surgically. 

A person may get along with one fifth of his pancreas or one fourth of his liver. 

Most of his stomach may be removed without dangerously affecting digestion and nutrition. 

Total removal of the stomach is crippling, but not fatal. About half of the small intestines and most of the large intestines may be cut away and still the person continues to live.

The body has a marvelous defense system against disease. Although alive with bacteria, the skin provides a protective shield for the whole body against their encroachment. 

If harmful bacteria enter the body through a cut or scratch, the body’s defense system goes to work. White blood cells rush to the area and start destroying the invading organisms.

The lymph nodes serve as yet another part of the defense system. Whenever disease organisms enter the body, the lymph nodes manufacture antibodies to combat the invaders.

Antibodies vary according to the kind of organism infecting the body. Some antibodies fight disease organisms directly. 

Others render harmless the poisons released by the bacteria. Still others cause the bacteria to stick together so that white blood cells can destroy them more readily.

Being elastic, the skin also permits the effects of a fall or a blow to be spread over a large area and thus reduces the extent of the injury.

Truly your body is well designed, with an ample margin of safety.

The body waterproof insulation and heat control


Besides protecting the body from the invasion of disease organisms and minimizing the effect of blows or falls, the skin serves to provide a waterproof covering for the body. 

Were it not for this feature, a walk in the rain or a bath would be hazardous. Our bodies would swell and our blood would be diluted. 

Swimming in seawater would result in shrinkage, since, from a chemical standpoint, salt water is more concentrated than blood.

The release of water through the skin in the form of perspiration and by diffusion, on the other hand, is essential in maintaining the body’s heat balance. 

Even hair growing in the skin has its place in heat control. The hair of the head shields the brain from getting overheated when subjected to the hot sun. 

On the palms of the hands, the fingers and the soles of the feet, the thick skin functions as a good heat insulator.

Dry skin also serves as a fine electrical insulator. This is indeed a blessing at a time when electrical appliances have come into common use.

Surely, something as attractive and versatile as human skin can rightly be labeled an “engineering marvel.”

The body framework


The bones provide the structural framework, keeping the organs in place and preserving the shape of the body. In themselves, the bones are an engineering marvel.

Having a total weight of some twenty pounds, a man’s bones. provide an ideal combination of lightness and strength. 

No human engineer can design a framework that can accommodate continual growth for some twenty years without having to shut down the structure that this framework supports. 

Bones, however, grow along with the rest of the body without as much as one stoppage in a person’s activities.

Another feature of body engineering that man cannot duplicate is self-repair. 

A broken bone, when properly treated, will heal and can thereafter function just as well as it did before the break occurred. 

Furthermore, bones fit together freely, connected by self-lubricating joints. Interestingly, so-called self-lubricating systems in automobiles are but a recent engineering development.

The body versatility


The capacity of the human body simply staggers the imagination. Think of man’s accomplishments in the fields of architecture, building, music, sports, carving, sculpture, painting and technology. 

The hands that firmly grasp an ax to chop down a tree can guide a knife in carving an object of beauty or move the scalpel to make minute surgical incisions. 

The legs and feet that are used for walking serve just as well for running, jumping and climbing. 

What single machine could come close to duplicating even a few of the many movements and activities of the human body?

Amazing, too, is the fact that the fuel for all the many functions of the body can be derived from, not just one, but many sources. 

And the greatly varied fruits, vegetables and meat that may be eaten to supply the body’s needs add to the enjoyment of life.

Yes, when we consider just a few things about the marvelous human body, we cannot help but be impressed.

Read more…

How to teach your child not be selfish?

A little girl hugging her brother.

Do you, too, invite your children to do things that will benefit others in the family?

Admittedly, it is not easy to steer children from a selfish course. 

The fact is, we are born selfish. A new baby wants what he wants when he wants it.

And he tolerates no delays, as is sometimes evidenced by unrestrained screaming for attention.

However, when provided with loving care and guidance by parents, a child begins to take notice of others.

Gradually his selfish tendencies diminish. Needless to say, this involves much time and effort on the part of the parents

Yet, in time, those who persist in their efforts see results.

Role of Parental Example


Whether parents like it or not, their children are going to imitate them. Thus the importance of setting a good example in being unselfish.

One father observed:

Our ten-year-old son has seen us give to others since he was small. Now when we give to those in need, he asks to be included. We’ve seen him do little things for others without being prompted, which indicates to us that he’s not just doing it to please us.”

His wife added: 

If husbands are generous with their wives, the child notes this and will do things for his mother the way his father does. I know that’s true with our son.”

This mother also had some interesting observations regarding the effect upon children of their parents’ attitude toward material possessions.

She explains:

Our son never hears us argue about money or hears us say, ‘We can’t afford this or that.’ Not that we’re well off financially; to the contrary. But we’re not anxious about it, and because of this he feels secure. We have observed that in homes where the parents constantly argue over money, the children tend to be more selfish, and they, in turn, fight among themselves over trivial things.”

It is often observed that a selfish child is one who gets, not too much attention from his parents, but usually too little. 

When a child can depend on his parents for help when he needs it, he generally becomes helpful. 

When a child is loved by his parents, he becomes loving. 

Yes, how a child is treated when young will, in large part, be the basis of how he will treat others in the future.

Ways in Which Training May Be Given


The importance of early training can hardly be overemphasized. 

Thus if a child is properly trained in his early years to think of others, giving and helping others will usually come naturally to him.

Recently a mother was observed putting this principle into action. She was overheard to remark to her little son: 

Now that you’ve found those two pennies, would you like to put one in your piggy bank and the other in your sister’s bank?” OK, Mom,” was the happy reply."

Thus the seed was planted and, if properly watered, it can be the basis for loving action in the future.

Other parents revealed that they include their children in discussions about family matters. 

The father makes the final decision, but the children are free to express their wishes, which are taken into consideration. 

The father of a thirteen-year-old daughter observed that making his children feel a part of family activities and decisions cultivates in them a loving, unselfish spirit. 

As an example, he said: 

Recently I went with my daughter to buy shoes. She saw a pair that she liked, but when told the price, she said: ‘Oh, Daddy, I don’t need such an expensive pair. That cheaper pair will be all right.’ Is it any wonder I think she’s special?”

Another father similarly explained how he and his wife try to help their children to make wise decisions. 

While they are still with us,” he noted, “we can detect any flaws in their thinking, and help them.” 

Illustrating the matter, he described a recent dinnertime discussion.

“The subject of cars came up,” the father recalled, “and our oldest boy, who is car crazy these days, said that if he had the money he’d buy a small sports car, naming the make. 

I remember saying: ‘Having a car is OK, Alvin, but a small sports car doesn’t leave much room for the wife and kids, does it?’

“He responded: ‘What do you mean, “wife and kids,” Dad? Why, I’m not even married yet.’

“‘I know, son, but you will be someday and you’ll have to consider them, won’t you? You know it’s all right to plan for the future, but you should consider how your plans will benefit or hinder others, don’t you think?’

“‘Well, yes, I guess you’re right. A sports car doesn’t have much room, but it would be nice to have.’

“‘Then, too, son, that’s a pretty expensive car that you want. You could be driving around in that fancy car, having a good time, while your family goes hungry. I’m sure you wouldn’t want that.’

“‘Of course not, Dad. I wouldn’t do such a thing.’

“‘I know you wouldn’t mean to. But I know you’ve seen many men in this very neighborhood do just that—get what they want at the expense of their family’s needs.’

“Well, he thought for a minute or so and then said: ‘I guess you’re right, Dad. OK, I’ll get a family car—when I get one, that is. But that’s still a long time off, isn’t it?’

“‘Yes, son, but what you think about now will shape your future plans. So it’s best to think along the right track even now.’”

Is that how you go about guiding your children to think of others? 

Do you do it in a natural, loving way under relaxed conditions? 

It will have a better chance of success than if done in a stern lecturing way. 

Also, if you use empathy in your approach, your children will appreciate your taking their feelings into consideration and will be more inclined to take the counsel.


Unselfishness towards others


There is much that children can be taught to do for grandparents and others well along in years. 

They can read to such ones who may have poor eyesight. 

They can include them in family games or activities. 

Just because these have slowed up physically does not mean they have done so mentally.

Even outside the home, in public, children can be encouraged to notice and help older persons. 

They can be encouraged to give up their seats to them on buses and trains. 

They can show respect by not interrupting them in conversation, and by not monopolizing a conversation. 

Yes, instead of merely tolerating elderly ones, as is the custom in some places in the world today, children can be taught to benefit from the wisdom and experience that such ones often have.


Prepare your child for a new baby arrival


Children should also be encouraged by parents to show loving attention to their younger brothers and sisters. 

Otherwise, they may resent a newcomer’s intrusion on their mother’s time. One mother, who had a six-year-old son, noted:

From the time I was pregnant with my daughter we referred to her by name, and she became very real to my son. When she arrived, he was eager to help me with her. Years later, he told us how happy he was when she was born.”

Parents who skillfully prepare their children for the baby’s arrival find that they have little to worry about, as illustrated by the case of a seven-year-old. 

When asked how she liked her baby sister, she replied: 

Oh, I love her. I like helping Mommy fix her up. But I don’t like it when she cries. I think she’s getting spoiled.” 

When asked what she intended to do about it, she said: 

Well, as soon as she can understand, I’m going to have a talk with her.”

Dealing with sibling jealous


It is often typical for brothers and sisters to grow jealous of one another, or to become resentful. 

But by avoiding showing favoritism and explaining their actions, parents can do much to counteract this problem. 

One mother of three observed:

As the children grew, the younger two showed some resentment when our oldest boy received some extra clothing or gift. But we explained that at his age he needed more than they did. We assured them that they, too, would receive the same treatment when their time came. Now that our daughter is at that age, she appreciates the truthfulness of this.”

Serving others brings benefits


One of the greatest gifts you can impart to your children is the desire to serve others, to give of their time, sympathy and attention in behalf of those in need. 

Consider the remarks of a twelve-year-old boy who learned this lesson:

A boy on our block lost his father recently, and I really felt sorry for him. I wanted to do something to help him so talked it over with my dad, and he said we could include him in some of our family activities. I’ve invited him over to our house, but he doesn’t seem to want to be with anybody now. But I intend to keep trying.”

Do your children get involved like that? Are they concerned for others?

They will be, with encouragement from you.

Truly, children who are encouraged to be unselfish receive many benefits. They have a sense of well-being and security.

They are more poised and balanced. They are better prepared for their future roles as husbands, wives and, eventually, parents.

Read more…

Is curiosity good or bad?

A child and parent looking curiously at something on the ground.
Where did I come from?” “Where?” “Why?” “How?” Such is the refrain loving parents continually hear from their young children."

Yes, children have a strong instinctive curiosity. They want to know the whys and wherefores of things.

But do you know that this curiosity is one of human’s greatest gifts? 

It has proved to be of great help to humankind, but, like all other instincts and qualities, its use can be wise or otherwise, foolish or even harmful.

Curiosity has been defined as “an eager desire to know.” Also, as “the desire to see or learn something that is new or unknown.” 

Curiosity has been an important factor in extending human’s range of knowledge, and is to the mind what the appetite is to the body.

But, as has well been noted, there are different kinds of curiosity, bad as well as good. 

That is why it has also been defined in a bad sense as “inquisitiveness,” which is “the condition of being too eager to know,” and as a “prying into other people’s affairs.”

Yes, curiosity can be misdirected. 

As an American essayist once expressed it: “Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.”

It is obvious that curiosity, if not properly controlled, might become a weakness rather than an asset.

The kind of curiosity that needs to be guarded against is the curiosity directed toward what is evil, cruel, wicked.

Some people are curious regarding the vivid details of shocking murders or sordid violent cases, or other forms of extremist views.

But one cannot feed the mind on such things, even out of curiosity, without being harmed by it, no more than one can take poison into one’s body, merely out of curiosity, without being harmed by it.

For example, many youths have become drug addicts simply because of curiosity as to what it is like to take a drug.

But, wisely directed, curiosity can prove to be a real asset.

Thus it has well been noted that “curiosity is an intellectual trait that distinguishes humans from all animals as clearly and completely as their capacity to think.”

This is seen in as simple a thing as travel. Apes limit their wanderings to at most fifteen square miles, while man has searched out the four corners of the earth.

Truly, curiosity is one of the great gifts with which humans are endowed with. It was curiosity that caused Isaac Newton to discover the law of gravity.

Because of the possibilities that curiosity thus presents, a Yale professor of history once told a new group of college students that, while curiosity may be frowned upon by many people, his institution placed a high value on men with great curiosity.

He also explained that, while a research scientist, if asked about his efforts, might reply that he is hoping to discover or produce something of practical value, actually he is out to gain knowledge per se, of itself, regardless of whether it will result in anything practical or beneficial to mankind or not.

While all such curiosity per se may have possibilities, of greater value to humankind is that kind of curiosity or inventiveness that is directed at specific goals.

For example, there is a Danish inventor who discovered how to raise sunken ships.

Because of the practical turn of this curiosity, many are the businessmen that beat a path to his door for him to help.

No question about it, curiosity if wisely directed, will leads to a greater understanding of your environment and this will greatly increase your purpose in life.

Read more…