short stories

A simple handshake will do

It used to be a handshake was a man’s bond, now it means little to nothing. 

Do you remember when a handshake was all that was needed? I remember, when I was a kid growing up in Missouri, watching my dad do many business deals with nothing more than a handshake. At the time, it didn’t seem like much of an undertaking.  I mean, everybody in them parts had a contract with someone else and all it was a simple gesture. The only time I remember seeing my dad sign any kind of paperwork for services of any kind was at the car lot or when he signed the banknote for our house.

Why is it now you have to sign your life away to get anything.  I mean, if you have a next door neighbor, and you want to put up a fence on the property line, the first thing that comes up is going down and getting a legal document signed so nobody gets sued. It doesn’t matter if this so-called fence is helping both parties or not.

I remember a neighbor we had come to dad and asked if it was okay to replace a fence in between our farms that had been damaged by a winter storm.  My dad kinda laughed and said, “Now, Jerry, why would you ask a silly question like that? Of course, you can change out that section, and I’ll pay half the cost”. Jerry said,” I just wanted to be respectful “. The next morning, when I dragged myself out of bed, I looked out the window and their Jerry and my dad were working together to replace that section of fence.

It was the same all over the Ozarks, and I’m pretty sure it was everywhere else except maybe the big cities where everyone was uptight all the time living so close to each other with no elbow room.

Nowadays, even in the backwoods, it seems like everybody is so afraid that they are going to be sued over something stupid,  there’s a mountain of paperwork to do with your neighbor just to put up a flag pole on your own property because your neighbors have to look at it.

I want to get back to the time when people trusted one another and not just be neighbors, but be neighborly. When did things change and become so bland? Where did we go wrong? I know part of it is because everything everywhere offends someone somewhere. But, I don’t think that’s the whole problem, even though it is a big part of it. I’m concerned about this great mistrust of one another that has gripped society today.

White man and black man shaking hands in the woods

It used to be a handshake was a man’s bond, now it means little to nothing.  It is really sad how far we have regressed as humans. Wait long enough and clothes, music and other such things come back into style again. Let’s bring back trust in our fellow man and make a handshake a man’s bond once more. It’s bad enough we can’t get countries to get along, but when we can’t even get along with our own countrymen, something is truly amiss.

I know I bounced around a lot in this post, but if you really look at what is happening out there, this is all tied together. We better figure it out soon because it isn’t looking good. Take care of yourselves and your neighbors. We all have to work together before it completely falls apart. The sad part is we are barely holding on by a thread now. Remember, we are all in this together.

By C.S.I

United States Navy veteran, over the road truck driver, welder, plumber, truck driver trainer, sign installer and haulage truck driver for copper mine. After injury in mine (which retired me early in life) I am now blogging the wisdom I have learned through life, with hope of helping others using common sense and old school thought.

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