It’s a concept most of us are at least passingly familiar with, that routinized and apparently choreographed handshake between two friends, perhaps teammates, expressing welcome or congratulations.
According to Wikipedia, the practice has it’s origins in the 1960’s early 1970’s among African American soldiers in Vietnam as a means of expressing solidarity with the Black Power movement.
Now, why I find this inspirational. It’s fun to meet a friend and to engage in a well worn tradition between the two of you, that perhaps only you two can anticipate. But more than that, it’s a visible expression to all who see it that these are two people who share something in common – maybe it’s respect, or friendship, or a common goal – but whatever it is, it’s shared between them. You cannot be that in sync with someone with whom you share nothing in common.
It’s an expression of solidarity: anyone who witnesses people giving dap know those two people care about each other at some level. It signifies bonds that perhaps aren’t spoken, just felt. Regardless of what they may say, anyone I’ve ever known who have accomplished anything needs to have someone they care about give them some positive regard and this is but one means by which that’s conveyed.
As I see it, there are two ways to see the world: as a great place with some bad actors or a bad place with some good actors. I choose to see the world as a place with a majority of good folks with reasonable intentions. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that, particularly when the politics of my great country are bogged down in appeals to the lowest common denominator. Hence, my 28 days of inspiration. Sometimes all it takes for my world view to be reawakened is seeing two people give each other that regard, showing each other that affection.