Lately I’ve been thinking about the basic human need for physical contact and I’m not just talking sex here, though I heartily agree that’s a very good thing. It has been proven that babies and small children need to be held and hugged etc. to thrive. Most people will say “duh”, most people understand that humans are tactile creatures on a very basic level. So the question is if most people are aware of this why are they surprised when a person verbally expresses this need? I mean we have no problem when people say “I’m hungry,” but if the same person said, “I need a hug,” or “please hold me.” a lot of people might raise an eyebrow. I can say from personal experience that that need does not lessen as a person ages, if anything it intensifies.
Physical contact is one of the things that validates our right to view ourselves as the equal of our peers.Don’t believe me? Think of it this way: if you are walking down a hallway (or sidewalk) and a person coming the other direction suddenly crosses to other side to avoid brushing against you I’m betting you’d feel confused and more than a little hurt. Why? When the other person crossed the hall to avoid even the barest contacts with you, that other person is subtlety denying your equality. To that person you have just been classified “other,lesser”. We’re all guilty of having been the person who crossed to the other side of the hall at some point, you’re lying to yourself if you say otherwise. However just because we’re all guilty of the same thing doesn’t make it any less wrong. I am not a particularly religious person but I believe we are all our brother’s keeper and since we’re all on the same planet, well that seem like a pretty strong tie to me. Here’s a thought, the next time you see a person on the street carrying a cardboard sign with the word “homeless” (or the like) written across it give the loosr five in your pocket that you weren’t planning on using anyway. And, maybe, if you’re not waiting at a traffic light like my mom and I were, give them a hug, I’m almost sure they’ll appreciate it. It stikes me that especially now we need to look at the misfortunes of others and remember,”there but for the Creator’s grace (which ever one you believe in) am I,” and treat them as you would hope to be treat in their place. Let your actions grant them, even if just for a while, their place within humanity.