How the Memory of a Handshake Helps Put Tragedy in Perspective

The Overwhelming Stream of Depressing News From Around the Globe Makes Personal Connections Even More Meaningful

Two young men shaking hands, close-up, studio shot

After mass shootings and other random acts of violence, the media responds in patterns all too familiar—heart-breaking accounts of the loss, a search to understand why (as if that answer could ever really be known), a quest to do something, frequently frustrated. In the end such an event is added to the reservoir of living in the interconnected 21st century. We find ourselves drawn in and repulsed by these events to which we have no true personal attachment.

The extent of this interconnection is new. Before reliance on social media …

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