• Tang
  • Cigarettes
  • Microwaving in plastic
  • Leaded (regular) gas
  • Riding in cars without seatbelts
  • Sneezing in our hands
  • Ice Cream on our cream of wheat
  • Jell-o salad
  • Sleeping in curlers
  • Lead paint on walls, dishes and toys
  • No helmets for motorcycle driving and hockey playing
  • Corporal punishment at home and school

“What were people thinking back then?” we wonder. These were acceptable behaviors until they weren’t and when we look back at them, we see the positive intention rather than blatant disregard for our safety.

As someone whose experiences mirror many in the Me-Too movement, I am disappointed by the recent comparisons of Joe Biden to the caught-on-camera actions of President Trump and so many others who victimize women as a basic part of life. While this is not a peek into my presidential views, – as I have my concerns about all the 2020 Presidential candidates to date – I do take offense with anyone equating his warm and nurturing intentions with blatant assault. As all his accusers have made clear, they never felt threatened by him, just felt uncomfortable.    

Democrats need to stop leaving their place at the table for being human. Too often doing the honorable thing has meant stepping down only to leave a void of good and gracious to be filled with arrogant and self- promoting.  

Years ago, I was fortunate to hear a futurist speak, while I do not recall his name, his words stuck with me. He shared this interesting insight into the minds of the Millennial Generation that made me think: Millennials were the first generation to grow up on computers, TVs, games, mobile devices and other electronics as a form of constant entertainment, information, communication and socialization. Their human touch and interaction was limited and their views on personal space, sexuality, attraction and physical connection was changing from what was once commonly accepted.  

The Joe Biden scandal is a prime example of this shift in viewpoint of acceptability. Does Joe and others like him need to change to accommodate these new viewpoints? Obviously, the answer is yes. That said, I do hope we are not going to continue to eliminate human contact, in all its forms, from our daily lives. Human connection is such an important part of a good life.  

A decade ago, I owned two day spas and in my research of services I read much about the benefits of human touch. After my divorce, I realized that when my daughter was with her father, I could go several days without physical contact and it was not healthy. My mood, my health, my state of mind, altered when human touch increased.

A decade prior, I was an executive in a publishing company and I unconsciously winked at people I passed in the hallway as I said hello – I guess it was a form of greeting, a sign of warmth, a connection gesture. One day, I was approached by HR because one of the staff members said I made him feel uncomfortable with my winking. A million emotions went through me: shock, embarrassment, concern, fear, disappointment, sadness. For one, I would never want an employee to feel uncomfortable and two, I usually didn’t even notice I was winking to begin with! How grateful I was that he was confident enough to come to HR and share his concerns rather than waiting. Luckily for me, he didn’t let resentments fuel him and his discomfort causing more diverse reactions. I apologized, clarified my intentions and was cautious from that moment forward.

Men should learn to take cues from women. When men mix up the cues, women should feel comfortable and confident in expressing their discomfort, just like the guy in my scenario. This free flow of communication and interaction could be more powerful than ever in today’s new world.

The sunny side:  Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I want to have respectful, comfortable, nurturing, kind and warm relationships with men and women without concern for future retribution. I like a hug greeting, the warm handshake, and a friendly smile and do expect to be treated respectfully and taken seriously.