Today I was on the south side of Chicago less than half an hour from Obama’s former church. Yup, right next to the neighborhood that is the hotbed of the vanguard of the leading edge of the latest and greatest new stuff.
A colleague came over to the table where I was sitting and began to shake hands with everyone around the table. I confess he caught me with my thumb and forefinger deep into the strawberry jam end of a bagel. No matter. Instead of shaking hands he just bumped wrists. Actually more of a forearm bump, just below the bone on the pinky side of the wrist.
I am reminded of a similar gesture where I once tried to shake hands with a devout Muslim male who was ritually washed in preparation for prayers (and thus could not touch a woman) who offered me the sleeve of his forearm. Thus we preserve the need to greet each other and make each other feel welcome while observing life’s little realities.