Love People

Keep Away!

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on

Social distancing has become popular since the spread of a new virus. I am accustomed to shaking hands with many people I know, either during a greeting or as a means of saying congratulations. I recently heard the announcement of someone who made plans to retire in the near future. After bumping into him later, I extended my hand out to shake his. It took me back to a moment in time when my childhood friend extended their hand and then yanked it backward before the handshake. Too slow! Of course, this man was not being silly, but exercising caution.

It’s easy to become offended these days by anyone’s actions or words. It is understandable that no one wants to get sick, especially since it’s been said there is a higher risk with age. I didn’t take offense and was happy to talk for a few minutes and congratulate him verbally. The more places I have been over the last two weeks, I’ve noticed a big trend. People are keeping at a distance from one another. The world is plastered with technology that has already widened the gap between people. Add to it now, people are scared to be close to one another. What little sense of community seems to be gone. Some of my encounters in public have almost caused me to believe this was true.

During a recent trip to a local business, I had an undesirable experience. I scheduled the appointment, and purposely asked for the person that I worked with last year. I was surprised when someone else came to the front desk. Normally I shake hands, but obviously I didn’t this time. The young man that provided the service barely spoke to me during the whole appointment. There was no use of humor or friendliness. It was all business. Many of my interactions since at businesses and stores have been similarly cold.

I understand that given the circumstances, it calls for keeping at a distance from each other. But just because we have to keep at a distance from each other doesn’t mean we have to be distant in every sense of our encounters. We enjoy being with people that have a knack for using the right words around us. By spending a few minutes with them, a person can walk away feeling better about themselves or about their day. If you don’t have the knack, it would be well worth trying to figure it out. If you are playing it safe by distancing yourself physically away from others, remember you don’t have to distance yourself emotionally from everyone. If anything is to be contagious, let it be some good vibes!

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