I believe in the power of touch. It has helped me grow, comforted me in my darkness, and welcomed me to new faces. Without touch I would be lost. Without a loving mother to hold me, a friend to hug me, or a colleague to shake my hand, my life would be cold. I find that when a part of me contacts another, a connection is made between me and that person. Sometimes, it’s an awkward feeling. Sometimes it’s what I strongly desire. Sometimes it’s threatening, sometimes encouraging. When I was younger, I strived to be in contact with another person. Sure, my parents hugged me and tucked me in when I was little, but I wanted a physical connection with people other than my parents. I wanted someone to tackle, to play tag with, to wrestle to the ground. I wanted someone to play with when my dad was too tired from work. I lived in a house that was isolated from childhood fun. No sidewalks. No neighbors my age. No playground nearby. This was my life until I fell in love with Jesus Christ. Through church, I acquired a group of friends who loves me and constantly hugs me. I wish that everyone could be blessed with loving arms to wrap them up with.
Some children, such as Anna, did not get the love she needed, and as a result, lived a cruel and twisted life. If you were to ask someone taking a sociology or psychology class, they would probably say they’ve heard of Anna. Anna was the daughter of an unmarried couple whose mother isolated her out of fear of the grandfather. When she was discovered, she was skeleton-like from malnutrition, and had never experienced the love of being held or comforted. The lack of touch prevented mental development and mentally handicapped Anna. After being care for and treated for several years, she had learned some basic skills. Unfortunately, she was beyond hope of fully recovering, and died at the age of ten.
It’s easy to take for granted the physical love shown by others, unless it’s a handshake from someone famous. It’s not often that mothers are recognized for holding their children, or fathers who hold their child as they learn how to ride a bike. These things are blessing and have so much impact on a person, even if it goes unnoticed. This I believe, that the power of touch is strong enough not only to comfort, but to help one grow each and every day of their life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.