Shaking Hands With Greatness: How I Learned the True Value of a Handshake
Bill Clinton Touched Me
On May 5th 2008 at approximately 11:40pm Former President William Jefferson Clinton touched me. He reached right out and shook my hand. Can you imagine that? Little old nobody me actually shook hands with greatness.
Initially, I wasn't even tempted to fight my way into the swarming crowd of people attending the Hillary Rodham Clinton for President campaign rally.
Being a mild-mannered personality, I was completely satisfied just to be able to see the man in person, to stand within 20 yards of him, to hear him speak - but something my eighteen-year-old son said to me prompted my action, forced my will, enabled me to tempt fate and jump into the masses to grab my chance.
What are the Chances?
New Release by Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton shares his ideas for the ways that each of us can help to change the world.
Whatever your political party affiliation might be, you have to grant the man his due. Bill Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States, a great leader, and a huge part of American history.
Bill Clinton was appearing at the Raleigh, North Carolina - Hillary for President Headquarters to thank the volunteers and to encourage everyone to vote in the May 6 primary.
We waited for his arrival for hours listening to various speakers including a man who had been trapped beneath the World Trade Center on 9/11 and a campaign spokesperson who joked about the fact that Bill was probably late because he was shaking hands with people at his previous engagement.
Ours was his 9th stop of the day.
Campaign headquarters were being held in what used to be a warehouse. Bill's "stage" was set up in the loading dock area behind the building and was fashioned in the bed of an old pick up truck parked at the end of a ramp. We in the audience stood behind three foot metal fencing.
Have You Ever . . .
thrown caution to the wind just to get a handshake?
Out of the Mouths of Babes
At the end of his speech Bill began shaking hands with those who were lucky enough to be in the front row. We were several rows back but my son decided that he was going to get in there. I handed my son a booklet asking him to get Bill's autograph if he could. My son did get close enough to barely brush Bill's hand but because he was holding the booklet, wasn't able to grab a handshake. He came back with a frown, angry that he'd missed his chance.
You see, I thought an autograph would be a super memento of the occasion but that wasn't what my son was after.
At this point, Bill looked like he was preparing to leave. He walked back across the make-shift podium, back up the ramp, started waving goodbye and then the next thing we knew, he climbed over the railing and jumped down off the side of the walkway, chancing an almost 3 foot drop, just to have another go around with the crowd. Amazing!
My son leapt at this new opportunity and raced back to the front. This time he was successful. He returned in triumph and said:
"That man shook the hand of all of the most powerful people of our time and now he's shaken my hand too!"
My son realized the magnitude of the connection to history that one handshake could hold.
Bill Clinton had indeed shaken the hands of the most powerful people, the most famous leaders, the most important VIP's, and the most popular celebrities of our time.
What superior value could a slip of paper with a signature on it hold over such a strong connection to the world as we know it.
Before my mind could finish visualizing this concept I threw caution to the wind and dashed into the crowd myself. If you knew me for even a short time, you'd know that this is completely out of my usual meek character.
Suddenly I was being crushed. He was nearby. I felt like I couldn't breath. He was moving closer. I reached out my hand. He was right there. It was now or never. He was right in front of me. I threw myself into it. (Richard Reed of the Fabulous Four couldn't have been more flexible.)
And then - I felt it. He grasped my hand. I closed my fingers around his, looked into his eyes and in that instant, just like my son, I was connecting with world history and all of the people Bill Clinton had ever met.
In that instant, I had moved my 6 degrees closer to more people and more history than I could ever imagine.
Pretty impressive, huh?
Shaking Hands with Greatness: A Future President Meets (and shakes the hand of) JFK
Have You Ever . . .
shaken Bill Clinton's hand?
The Hand That Touched The Hand . . .
What Does Your Handshake Say About you?
- Hand Shake, How To and Meanings of Different Types of Handshake
A hand shake can have an implied psychological meanings. Learn the meanings, how to, how long and when to shake hands.
- What Your Handshake Says About You - BusinessWeek
Rules for meeting and greeting
An Interesting Read
Explore the evolution of the personality of Bill Clinton from his youth up until he announced his run for the presidency.
Thank you for visiting, letting me share my story, and for participating in the polls. Feel free to leave any and all comments below.