Wednesday, November 16, 2011


An oft ignored human expression of emotion is the element of TOUCH. Be it shaking hands with someone or giving someone a hug or a pat on the back or merely holding hands, the varied emotions that come through touch are under rated because very few have realized that TOUCH is The Original Universal Connection to Heart. Ever consciously noticed how in a spontaneous gesture of affection we ruffle the hair of a kid or kiss a chubby little baby? Imagine the feeling of joy and warmth that envelops us when we extend that touch and an overwhelming emotion gets triggered in our heart.

In everyday life the most commonly used touch between adults is a handshake. It is not just a greeting but an expression of equality, acceptance, welcome and respect. In formal settings or when initial contact is made the handshake may be very ritualistic but when a camaraderie is built up and the relationship is more friendly, the handshake gets transformed into an expression of genuine warmth and delight. The handshake has and equally important role ironically in very tragic circumstances particularly at funerals when the condolences are offered to the bereaved. Baden Powell the founder of Scouts movement gave the handshake a touch with a twist. He introduced the concept of scouts shaking hand with the left hand based on his initial contact with an Indian leader in the wild west. (Check the net to find out more about this). It may also be interpreted that this gesture is special too since the heart is closer to the left hand and a left handed shake hand was both symbolic of the seriousness of intent and an appropriate gesture.

Hugs and kisses are not too far behind as methods demonstrating the power of touch. Hugs accentuate the whole body touch to convey the warmth and the closeness that exists between the parties involved. The meeting of long lost friends, family members or close relatives is a time when the hug becomes the silent but powerful communicator of the emotions. Ironically again, the hug also conveys the deepest emotion of sorrow and empathy that one conveys to someone in pain. Children in particular relish a hug for it also ensconces the security that they desperately seek at that vulnerable age. A kiss is a more overt expression of love whether it be between parents and children, between lovers or newlyweds. A kiss is in many ways is the ultimate expression of love and affection expressed as a touch.

Then there are other favored expressions of touch like walking hand in hand, ruffling the hair and fondling which are common place in daily life. The danger of inappropriate touch is a cause for concern though. What is important however, is the recognition of the reality that TOUCH as a sensation and expression of emotion plays a crucial role in the shaping our life and the lives of others we come in contact with for ultimately it is The Original Universal Connection to Heart.

Action Points:
  1. If you have a domesticated pet or if you can observe a domesticated pet and its owner, pay attention to how the pet seeks the affection of its master and attempts to get its masters touch. Dogs in particular overtly seek the touch of its owners. Imagine how much a human being craves for the power of touch.
  2.  Next time you shake hands with a stranger/ a friend/ a long lost cousin pay attention to the intensity, duration, style and firmness of the handshake. Do you see a correlation between the handshakes and the intimacy you share with the other party?
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