All mammals, no matter where they are- whether it’s at sea or on land, need touch…that sense of belonging and closeness. Touch connects between children and parents, between couples and between friends, it is a bridge between cultures from the dawn of mankind.
Touch can start with a handshake as a symbol for business, with a hug between friends or family members, with a kiss between a couple. Every touch between one person and another symbolizes a sort of declaration of intents (rational, emotional or a combination of both) and puts through a lot of seen / hidden messages that our body receives and then translates for us.
Different researches show that untouched babies can even reach death… in psychology it is known that a hug is a very important touch for a child. It gives the child the sense of belonging, recognition of limits and the sense of security he so desperately needs in order to grow.
If you look at kids, you can see that they experience their outer and inner world by touch ever since they are babies… they learn to recognize enjoyment… danger… different tastes… right from wrong… and basically a lot of their understanding of their surroundings comes from touch. Crawling is a very necessary step in the physical (without it a baby can reach hypotonia- a lower tone of the muscles that causes a decrease in the muscle mass, damage in movement) and cognitive development of a baby.
A large part of the brain is dedicated to touch… to sensing with all the other senses…this alone shows us the importance of it.
If you check the everyday language that we use you’ll find that the word “touch” comes up a lot, we give it a lot of weight in every part of our lives. Some examples: personal touch (adding a unique input), sexual touch, magic touch (when somebody has a special talent to do something others can’t in different subjects), touch-ups / retouch (fixing something), touchdown (landing), touchiness (sensitivity), keep in touch (when you want to maintain a connection with someone) etc.
When we buy clothes, we always take into consideration the texture of the fabric and its touch on our skin. This subject is that important that the designers of these clothes also take it into consideration when making them. We have a lot of words to describe that certain sense of touch like: silk touch/ velvet touch- a soft and pleasant texture etc. clothes, in fact, are the closest to our bodies… they are like a second skin and it’s more important to us that they will be soft and pleasant over any other quality.
When we are far from the people that are important to us most of us say stuff like: I miss your hug…I miss your touch… I miss your kisses… I miss the togetherness.
When we have a meeting, any kind of meeting, it includes touch, whether it’s personal or impersonal there’s no meeting between two people or two animals (mammals), for that matter, that doesn’t include some kind of recognitional touch (a recognition of presence, acceptance).
Touch is fundamental between couples in order to create a relationship, reinforce it, express feelings (love), create a sense of security and belonging and gradually contribute to making the relationship official and eventually result in having kids. All these stages need and include different forms of touch, without it there’s no possibility for creating a relationship, therefore no possibility for continuing the human race.
If touch is so important to us… to our bodies… to our souls… to our culture… to the world…to humanity, then why do we take it less and less into consideration?
Why do we create less and less diplomatic contacts while giving more room for disagreements and less room for solutions?
Why do we settle for casual sexual encounters (a brief insignificant touch) and choose less and less a long-term meaningful relationship and touch?
Why do we hug less and put less effort into the emotional development of our kids? Why do we teach them to dedicate their time to rational studies rather than an emotional outlet or expression? Why do we take them with us to different places (like objects) and not play more actively with them or give them our full attention… show them how much we love them and enhance it with the correct touch?
Why is the word “touch” being used every so often in a negative connotation- a sickening touch (physical/sexual abuse), so much so that we avoid showing affection because it might be perceived negatively?
Why do we see less and less loving touch between couples? And if we do it’s usually short and to the point?
Touch is important to everyone everywhere so why not try and put it back in schedule… add a little more touch (correct and healthy one) into our lives… this little bit will add a lot of color, love and a sense of security and belonging into it all… So when we look at the world, which is not always perfect and doesn’t always go according to our plans, we’ll still feel like we belong, are loved and fuller inside.
Utopia? could be. But maybe just maybe you should look into it and take it into consideration by giving more time to touch and closeness and see what it does to you…