Editorial

Bowing for health

Friday, March 1, 2013

Some believe that we could vastly improve the health of our citizenry and save billions of dollars in costs associated with colds, flu and other illnesses if we, as Americans, would adopt the practice of bowing when greeting one another, rather than shaking hands.

Millions of people at any given time are infected with various viruses, the symptoms of which are often concealed by the use of the vast array of medications available, which allow sick people to continue working, rather than stay home in bed where they are less likely to infect others.

The biggest problem people face when avoiding shaking hands is the immediate feeling of disrespect. Many feel it's un-American not to shake hands and that there must be some underlying problem! When approached with an outstretched hand, some now prefer to stand back a step and bow with their hands behind their back, or bow with their palms touching and their hands against the heart, as do the Hindus and many Asians.

Some friends may even try to insist that you shake hands with them, in spite of your attempts at explaining why you prefer to bow in the spirit of good health.

It is believed that if enough prominent Americans, including professional athletes, celebrities and politicians, would begin to politely bow in public and before the media rather than shake hands, that many, if not the vast majority of Americans, and hopefully the rest of the world, would abandon the unhealthy practice of shaking hands in favor of the polite "bow for health."

At least the current "fist-bump" trend is a small step in the right direction.