A friend who attends my spiritual center brought her mother with her for the first time today. At the end of our service, we all hold hands and sing It’s In Every One Of Us, and many folks get the whole Kum Ba Yah sway going. My daughter and her husband also brought a friend today, and he had the typical reaction that I’ve seen many have to holding hands and singing with strangers… it weirded him out a little. But back to my friend…
As we were leaving, I saw my friend and her mother. She was beaming. I asked her what she thought and she gave an atypical response to the one I often hear. She said it had been so long since she had held someone’s hand and she talked about how good it felt. She even talked about holding her daughter’s hand, which made me realize how fortunate I am that I have a “touchy-feely” family. My parents always hugged us and kissed us, as I do my children. Even my youngest son with mild Autism likes hugs and kisses from people he loves.
At the end of my arthritis class at the YMCA, the instructor has participants hold hands for a prayer. For arthritis sufferers, some of those folks (many of which are 20 years my senior) have a serious grip!
My in-laws are huggers and kissers, as is my husband. It is one of the good things he attributes to his ex-wife. My husband still holds my hand when we are in the car, or out in public… or when we’ve just watched a touching scene in a movie.
We know that babies can die from lack of physical attention. Our skin is our largest organ and full of nerve endings whose stimulation can give us a sense of well being. Have you ever been to a nursing home where many of the elderly have few visitors? The first thing many of them do is reach out and grab your hand.
Human touch is critically important. I encourage you to grab your spouse’s hand, hug your kids, or give your mom and dad a kiss. Obviously, you have to be discerning, but there are people out there in the world that could use a hug or a hand on their shoulder too.