It’s amazing what we can learn from other people who come from other lands

If we take the time to listen…if we take the time to understand.


I had a friend…from a different country…a far off distant land

who, on the day when we were introduced…extended his two hands.


I hesitated for a moment and, sensing my apprehension

He said, “In my country we shake with both hands to show you have our full attention.


He knew we came from different lands  with different traditions

different dialects

“Shaking with two hands.”he said, “is a way we show dignity and respect”.


He said, “It is how we hand each other food…

It’s the way we give each other a gift

and when someone we know is feeling down,” he smiled,

“two hands makes it easier to lift”.


And so every time I’d greet him…this man from a different land

as a show of dignity and respect…I’d extend him my two hands.


My friend got sick…and when he was dying…my friend from different land

I sat next to his bedside…and we grabbed each other’s hands.


With my two hands in his…as his life was slipping away

He said, “You see we’re not so different…with two hands is how we pray”.


When this pandemic is over…and our world once more expands….

I vow to greet everyone I meet…by extending my two hands.


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