The power of touch
We mammals are creatures of touch. We cuddle our young. Indeed, we mammals appear to love cuddling our young . . . especially we mammals who call ourselves human. To us, there’s nothing in all the wide world quite as intimate as the physical touching of another.
The COVID-19 virus recently changed humanity in countless ways. Yet perhaps its most diabolical delivery was to attack one of our most basic and endearing human desires; our basic need for physical human touch.
The New Testament records that Jesus healed people many times simply by the power of touch.
But what if the healing power of physical touch is taken from us? What happens to us then? Do we become less human?
Each new dawn we find that tens of thousands of school-aged children across our nation are developing newfound symptoms of depression and anxiety. Yes, part of those numbers may very well be attributed to the fact that a majority of students are now learning largely by electronic means only, rather than by more hands-on/natural methods (a topic of which I’ve preached tirelessly about in this column).
But surely much of these alarming numbers are at least somewhat due to the fact that our children are no longer as free as they once were to touch each other, or be touched by anyone – even those who love them dearly, such as teachers and school staff.
It’s true that we, as a society, once didn’t protect children enough from possible adult predators and airborne pathogens. But in our zeal to protect, we may have very well over-protected an entire generation of children from receiving one of their greatest and most basic human needs; appropriate touches and hugs.
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