Now that a virus has finally stopped us from shaking hands, we have a singular opportunity to eliminate this custom once and for all.
There’s a much better way to greet one another — and no, it’s not the fist bump, and it’s certainly not the ridiculous elbow tap, either.
A gesture exists that works for all brains in all cultures: the “no-fear greeting,” as it’s known to yogis, an example of what the anthropologist David Givens calls the “palm-show cue.” All you need to do is bend your right forearm along your side and display your open palm.
Exposing an open palm, as when we’re waving to a friend or stretching out upturned hands to ask for help, is a universally recognized sign of nonaggression.
John Tierney is a contributing editor to City Journal and author of the new book “The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It,” published by Penguin Press. This piece was adapted from City Journal.
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