Monday, October 24, 2011

The Power of a Touch

I am reading the book  The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White.  This is one of those books that cause Jeff to roll his eyes and ask "You really enjoy reading this"  I offered to let him take the book to his workplace, but he mentioned he thought the book would certainly suffer irreparable harm.

I just completed the chapter on the power of physical touch.  In this chapter a young single worker comments:  "It's funny that no one hesitates to touch a baby or pat a strange dog, but here I sit sometimes dying to have someone touch me and no one does.  I guess that we don't trust letting people know the fact that we all like to be touched because we are afraid that people will misinterpret it.  So we sit back in loneliness and physical isolation."  (pg.104)  I wonder how many single (and sadly married) individuals can relate?

I've been learning more about the power of touch in children and how touch can lower cortisol levels.  A lack of touch can impact a child for the rest of their lives. 
Death rates for touch deprived infants less than one year of age ranged from thirty to one hundred per cent. Those that survived had less than a fifty per cent chance of reaching
puberty. Evidence also showed that the brains of infants left in cots were
twenty per cent smaller than those who were picked up, cuddled and cradled,
despite adequate nutrition and hygiene. 
As I prepared for a class I watched footage of infants who had been touch deprived and it brought tears to my eyes.  They were obviously developmentally challenged as they listlessly lay in their cribs.  How could anyone raise a child like this?  The footage was decades old, but this is still an ongoing problem.  Parents, take the time to carry and hug your child.  Husbands and wives, don't get so busy you only give your spouse a peck on the cheek each day.  Hug them, and more. . .   Hold the hands of the resident at the nursing home or the patient at the hospital. 

Touch is important.  Jesus thought so too. 
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God, Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. Mark 10:13-16
For those believers feeling touch deprived don't give up hope; someday you too will feel the arms of Jesus wrapped around you. 

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