Sunday, March 22, 2009

Handshakes, Hugs and Other Connections

Today at church I sought to reach out to people. I smiled more, said more hi-how-are-ya's, spoke up during a silence in our quorum discussion, and I physically touched more people, mostly men, than I usually would.

This wasn't so much a conscious decision at the time, but now I think I understand my motives. I wanted to feel a greater sense of connection. I wanted to treat others as I want to be treated. I'd read an old blog of Beck's this week about a young blond fellow who caught his eye while vacationing with his wife. Today as I sat in church with my wife, a 20-something similar to the guy in Beck's blog (below) walked in and sat about six rows in front of us. Later he introduced himself as a newly-wed member of our ward during Priesthood opening exercises. As he left to attend Elder's Quorum I made eye contact, said hello, reached out to shake his hand, welcomed him and introduced myself. In HP group I sat by a man we home teach and in back of two older fellows who have always been kind to me. After the lesson, I just lingered. I put my hand on the shoulder of the man in front of me and he turned around, we shook hands, smiled and warmly talked. I'd put my left hand on the top of the bench and he placed his right hand on mine just a few seconds.

After church there were more handshakes and back slapping, some I originated, some that sought me out. No hugs today, but it was a good warmup. If I want to the world and myself to be less homophobic about male-to-male touch, maybe I can make a small difference even if it is just one Sunday at a time.