Globe Editorial

Handshakes: Good vibes can be contagious

March 29, 2011

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There are some values that even the best schools can’t teach, that seem to blossom spontaneously out of personal experience. “Only connect,’’ E.M. Forster wrote, in a plea for human understanding. The students at Boston’s TechBoston Academy found their own simple way to vindicate Forster’s two-word sermon. After the naked excitement of President Obama’s visit earlier this month, the students decided to spread the good feeling throughout their school.

“For several days after the president’s visit, students who had shaken Obama’s hand transmitted the experience by pumping the hands of those that didn’t, including students in the lower academy that serves grades 6 to 9,’’ reported Globe columnist Lawrence Harmon. Hand to hand, the students linked themselves to each other and to the president who honored their school. There can be no better metaphor for what makes a successful school or community or society. Society’s aspirations are being elevated by schoolchildren.