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Whatever Happened to an Old-Fashioned Handshake?

Dr. James L. Snyder

Dr. James L. Snyder

By Dr. James L. Snyder

I must confess I do have some old-fashioned biases. I would be the first to admit I’m not up to date on the latest fad or trend.

I come from that era that believed the well-dressed man is one that doesn’t stand out from everybody else. I’ve tried to keep to that all these years. I certainly don’t want to stand out and have people recognize me or point their finger at me and whispered to each other.

For years, I’ve been very careful about that. Now, it seems that because I try to dress like a well-dressed man and not stand out I am in fact standing out. Nobody, except me and two other people, really care about being well-dressed.

This has never been an issue with me and it even now is not an issue. But reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the year before me, I have to take some calculations. According to my calculation, I no longer fit into that “well-dressed man” category, because the term “well-dressed man” does not mean what it used to mean.

I hate it when something outlasts its definition.

To be a well-dressed man today, according to the latest fads and trends I have noticed, I need to throw away my belt and let my trousers drop all the way down to my knees.

Let me go on record as saying, never in a million years will that happen.

Then there is the issue about a necktie. Am I the last person on planet earth wearing a necktie?

Very few people today know how to tie a necktie. Well, I do and I will until they put me in a casket and then I hope I’m still wearing a tie. So if you come to my funeral and look at me in the casket and I’m not wearing a tie, complain to someone for me.

The latest trends and fads have no interest to me whatsoever.

This came to my attention recently when I had to sign some legal papers for something to do with the church. I had to sign here, initial there, sign the next page, initial three pages and it went on and on until I ran out of ink.

I’m one of those old-fashioned guys that use a fountain pen and all that signing and initialing drained all of the ink out of my fountain pen. Before I finished, I was on the verge of carpal tunnel.

I sighed rather deeply, looked at the gentleman (I think he was a gentleman because he was dressed like a gentleman), and said kind of sarcastically, “Do you remember the old-fashioned handshake?”

He looked at me without smiling and then said, “Here are some more papers for you to sign.”

I thought I was signing my life away, but in reality, I was just signing my ink away.

I do remember when a handshake really meant something. Just about everything was sealed with a handshake and both parties were as good as their word. It would take a lot of undoing to undo that handshake. Now, you’re only as good as the word on a piece of paper over your signature. Then, some lawyer can finagle it around to mean something other than what you really meant it in the first place. So what’s the purpose of all this?

I know you’re not supposed to say this, but I will, I sure long for the good old days when a handshake was all you needed. I get tired of the rigmarole passing as business these days. I get tired of paperwork that’s piled higher than the tallest tree in the forest.

Of course, if we go back to that handshake scenario, it will put many lawyers out of business. What would these people do for a living? I have some ideas, but I’m going to keep that to myself.

Trust has gone out of our culture today because everybody is only after what they can get for themselves and they don’t care how they get it.

A handshake met something in “the day.” In fact, I believe it was more binding than all of the paperwork and signed documents and legalese we have today. It’s hard to sue a handshake!

What I want to know is simply this. When we replaced the good old-fashioned handshake with all of this legalese stuff, are we better off? Have we simplified everything and covered all of the bases?

The answer is a loud no.

A man’s word used to be his bond and something he would never go back on.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have lived on that marital philosophy all of our married life. I know in the marriage ceremony there is no “handshake.” But the philosophy of that handshake is right there. When I said “I do,” and she responded by another “I do,” we were shaking hands and saying to everybody around us but particularly to one another, “We do.”

I think James shook the right hand when he wrote, “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation” (James 5:12).

I’m all for getting back to the good old days when a handshake was all you needed.


Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net or website www.jamessnyderministries.com.

 

Harlem Globetrotter are coming to LA Southland and Citizens Business Bank Arena

Cheese Chisholm and young fans

Cheese Chisholm and young fans

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters, featuring some of the greatest athletes and entertainers on the planet, will bring their unrivaled family show to the Greater Los Angeles Area for nine games at six different arenas from Friday, Feb. 6 through Monday, Feb. 16.  The 2015 “Washington Generals Revenge Tour” will entertain the Southland during the following schedule:

Friday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. Ontario, CA Citizens Business Bank

Saturday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. Galen Center Los Angeles, CA

Monday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. Saddleback College Gym Mission Viejo, CA

Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 7p.m. UCSB Events Center Santa Barbara, CA

Saturday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. Honda Center Anaheim, CA

Saturday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. Honda Center Anaheim, CA

Sunday, Feb. 15 at 12:30 p.m. STAPLES Center Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, Feb. 15 at 5:45 p.m. STAPLES Center Los Angeles, CA

Monday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. Honda Center Anaheim, CA

The Globetrotters will face a great challenge this year, as the infamous Washington Generals are more determined than ever to beat the Globetrotters.  The Generals are on a mission and will do whatever it takes to win.  They plan to evoke a new strategy that is sure to give the Globetrotters a run for their money, despite the Globetrotters’ 98.7 winning percentage and over 25,000 wins since 1926.

The Generals are the master mind of the late Louis “Red” Klotz, who passed on July 12, 2014.  The last time one of Klotz’s teams beat the Globetrotters was on Jan. 5, 1971, thanks to a last-second basket by Klotz in Martin, Tenn.

Bull Bullard

Bull Bullard

Known worldwide as the Ambassadors of Goodwill™, the Globetrotters will honor a “Hometown Hero” at each of their 310-plus games in North America.  The team is searching for active, wounded or retired members of the military who have made their community proud with their brave service and exemplary character.  Fans can nominate “Hometown Heroes” at harlemglobetrotters.com.  The Globetrotters will also play a portion of each game with a camouflage basketball as a sign of respect to all who protect our freedom.

With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy LoftonAnt AtkinsonHi-Lite BrutonThunder LawBull BullardFirefly Fisher and Moose Weekes,  plus female stars TNT MaddoxT-Time Brawner and Sweet J Ekworomadu* – the Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. With incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family. After the game, Globetrotter stars will sign autographs and take photos with fans.

Tickets are now available at harlemglobetrotters.com and the respective arena box offices.  Information on group and scout tickets can also be found at harlemglobetrotters.com. A partnership with Metro allows riders to receive a $7 discount on select seats by showing their Metro transit receipt/pass at the box office or by using the promo code METRO when purchasing online.