The Positive Power of Touch
I love to be alone, solitude has become my best friend. Days spent working with multiple people, listening to needs, wants, and complaints have made quiet evenings at home with my faithful dog my favorite activity. As we quietly sit next to each other and relax, I can feel my stress slip away with each scratch to his head. A simple method, but a powerful method.
It is in moments like these when I realize the power of touch, a simple high five or handshake could change someone’s day, could help them see their value or worth. We forget at times that we as humans have the need for positive touch, that we cannot live a life alone, without feeling kindness, even love. Yet so many struggle through life, barely registering their importance, never feeling the kindness of a gentle touch.
Years ago, an experiment was conducted on babies to fully understand their need for nurturing, love, and touch. Sadly, the experiment illustrated the need, rather than the requirement for touch as it was reported the babies failed to thrive. Today, there are countless news reports of homeless people refusing to go to a shelter because they cannot take their dog with them. Many fail to understand refusing a warm, safe place to sleep in exchange for a cold, hard street to sleep on. These homeless people have formed a bond with their dogs, they understand the need for love and positive touch, all of which they get from their dog. Imagine being told your best friend is not welcome, that you must leave them outside in the cold, unsafe, while you go inside to warm up.
As a culture, we have lost a lot of our humanity. We fail to remember the innate need we have for touch and to feel loved. We invest in cell phones, tablets, and other items to distract our children, desiring time alone, time to follow our hobbies, rather than investing in our children. Growing up with a technological babysitter, these children are failing to realize their full potential, their humanity. The question must be asked, what will happen to the world as these children mature, and slowly take over. Will the world become a cold, dreary place, where technology is used as a babysitter? Or will they slowly discover their need for warmth and humanity?
So much is left uncertain, so much teeters on the brink of destruction as we lose more of our humanity, as we lose the ability to show kindness to a stranger, offer a hug to a scared child, or make an exception for a beloved pet. Perhaps one day we will see the world through the innocent eyes of a child, and lovingly reach out to hold a hand, or show some affection.