I believe in the value of touch.
I believe that touch conveys everything in my heart.
Sometimes, I need to express my feelings more than words. Even though I give my biggest smile, it is not enough and I feel like something is missing. Touch like hugging, kissing on the cheeks, holding hands, and patting shoulders are able to help me produce and express genuine emotion from my heart.
Growing up in Japan, I rarely hug people. Imagine that you met your friend for the first time in ten years. I have never hugged that person. Imagine that you see your grandmother for the first time in a year. I never hugged her before. Even though I do hug my kitty always, I rarely hug people. I grew up like that in Japan.
Since I grew up in this culture, it was awkward when I first experienced being hugged in America. The first time happened to me when I had my first birthday here. Pat, my American mother, knocked the door of my room in the morning, and she hugged me with a big smile saying “Happy Birthday, sweetie!” I was a little bit surprised, but it was a warm happy feeling I never experienced before. I felt more than just a “happy birthday.” I felt her kindness and nice heart.
It’s been almost three years since I moved to America. Actually, I’m getting used to the physical contact in American culture. However, I believe I never wanted to get used to this. It’s because if I get used to it, I’m afraid to forget to touch people with my real feeling. Because touch is a new beautiful culture I learned, I want to treasure it. Hugging my family and friends will not be as easy as my words from my mouth. I believe touch is a single move that I should realize I’m doing it with various meaningful reasons each time.
I believe that a deep feeling, from the bottom of my heart, is conveyed through hugging, kissing, holding hands, or patting shoulders. Touch matters because it has the beautiful purpose that makes me feel genuine. It is an essential approach to express my emotion and one of the amazing elements of American culture.
American people may find it strange that I have never given my mom a hug, but I would love to hug my mom as soon as I see her at the airport next time in Japan.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.