We all know the human touch is important and powerful. We can feel it when someone we love touches us – and are reminded of it when separated from those we love for long periods of time and then get reunited.
When I was younger, even as recently as college, I didn’t like being touched at all. It was kind of a running joke that I have my personal space and invaders are not welcome.
I walked in the door and though the kids had never seen me, which I presumed would result in their shyness, they ran toward me and hugged my legs and grabbed my hands.
They were starved for touch and affection. It’s not an indictment on the institutions they find themselves in. Both are amazing organizations and do their best. But nothing replaces loving parents that shower touch and affection on their children.
Another factor is that I’m male. It seemed like the kids are usually surrounded by female volunteers and attention from a male was more rare.
Either way, it was all very overwhelming for me. So many kids, so few limbs to hold them.
Now I’m in Davao, Philippines volunteering at a Mother Teresa home for sick and malnourished children. I am doing much the same, holding babies and playing with kids.
But as I’ve noticed before, I think kids are much more in touch with the inner consciousness. Many of the kids there have stunted development and other problems. Others are just sick and recovering from Tuberculosis.
But when I walk around with a baby and bring her to other cribs, it’s amazing what happens. They instinctively reach their hands out to touch each other.
And sometimes they point to other babies and when I take them over there they do the same. I don’t know if they are communicating, but it seems like something deeper to me.
I’m not a parent and maybe for those of you who are, you have seen this daily at some point in your life and it just became normal. But I think there’s something to it.
So whether it’s from the scientists’ angle, or from your own perceptiveness, you know there is something amazing going on.
What strikes me is that the kids always seem to smile after their hands touch and contact is made. I wish there was more of this raw happiness in the world, where the simple pleasure and healing nature of human touch is celebrated as a miracle.