Last night I was in a great conversation with a small group of multi-generational women, when it came up that sometimes the older ladies can go for weeks without any physical touch or affection whatsoever. I’ve heard that before, but it’s almost inconceivable at a time in my life when virtually every minute of the day I’m holding a baby. Sometimes I feel like I’ve surrendered any concept of physical boundaries, because my daughter’s life literally depends on my touch. But their homes are quiet and empty now, and they don’t always have family around to meet that need.
You’ve probably heard about studies that proved infants will fail to thrive with out human touch. Here’s an old NY Times article, The Experience of Touch, explaining the research of Harry Harlow on this topic. My question is this: Who’s to say that this is only important for infants? I’m guessing it would be safe to say all human beings need kindness in the form of physical touch every now and then. I’m no doctor… and I don’t even play one on TV, but I’m pretty sure I’m right on this.
As we wrapped up our discussion, I figured, what the heck! I can give a couple more hugs today. It’s just a hug.
“Alright, come here ‘old lady’. Before you go, you are getting a hug today!”
And I held on just a little bit longer than normal. I think it made all the difference.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27, New International Version