Have we lost touch?
A day or two ago I was out picking up some groceries. Standing at the back of my car, trunk open, I noticed an elderly lady messing with her car. She appeared confounded, trying to figure out the key fob for her car. “Was it locking the doors? Am I doing it right?” She was standing there with the door open and it looked like she was pushing the button on her fob and trying to see if the doors locked or not.
I moved another load from buggy to trunk and was about to go ask her if she needed help. When I looked up again, she was heading towards me, door closed and walking (as best she could) with purpose. As she came by my car, I smiled at her and asked if she was enjoying the lovely weather. After repeating myself once or twice, she smiled again and said “oh yes. A little cool, but it’s wonderful.” We gave parting smiles and she was off again, heading for the store. Having enjoyed the brief but friendly connection, I went back to using the two cranes attached to my shoulders to hoist bags of stuff from buggy to trunk.
A moment later, another elderly lady started her voyage past me sailing her now empty buggy on past my car. Having finished unloading her cart, she was successfully navigating it back to the buggies next port of call, the local buggy rest stop, right there in the parking lot. As she passed by, a few feet from my car, I heard a familiar voice pipe up and say “here, I’ll take that” and then a moment later, hand reaching for the cart, “you look familiar, I think I know you from somewhere” It was the key fob lady, and she was connecting again. As my cranes slowed down, my head continued to swivel their direction and I became engrossed in their exchange. As they talk like old friends, bright eyes smiling along with their voices and faces, they couldn’t figure out where their paths crossed… but I did.
Their paths crossed right there in that ocean of a parking lot. Not just in the physical crossing, but in the type of people they are inside. They were both open, loving people who weren’t afraid to step out of their shell, and say HI! Not afraid of being wrong in whether or not they knew each other. The clincher for me and the reason I titled this “are we losing touch” was that they didn’t just talk with their words and faces, they talked in their touch. While they were still trying to figure out if they knew each other, key fob lady reached up to sailor Sue and began fixing the collar of her light jacket. No one paused, sailor Sue didn’t step back, it was the most natural thing for Ms. Key Fob to do.
I’ve always loved touch. Both giving and receiving it. It’s another level of connection and I wonder if it’s dying out in our time. These two representing an older generation, without thought for their actions, connected on a more caring, loving level by the action of one reaching out to fix the collar of the other. While I’m not suggesting you run out and start touching every stranger you meet, I am suggesting that you keep touch in mind, especially when interacting with your family, loved ones etc. While touch can enhance the words being spoken, touch alone can sometimes say more than words.
So come on, get up and go give someone a hug… don’t even say anything, just hug as long as it feels right.
Release, turn around and walk away. See what happens!
The more comfortable we get with touch in our strong, trusting relationships, the more likely we’ll be to spread it to others we get to know. Eventually, we may smile when we find ourselves straightening the collar of someone we feel we know but are actually just meeting for the first time as our ships cross paths in this sea of humanity.
Peace (and hugs )
Stephen Kellogg – 2010
**Hugs** This is great, and I think you are right, it is something lost on another generation! I will defiantly keep this in mind with my family and friends. Thanks for noticing such a wonderful moment and passing it along!!
thanks for the feedback. This type of writing is a new venture for me. Sometimes the little things in life speak volumes. I’m hoping to remember to document more of the little things (or maybe big things) that speak to me and see if I get feedback. I was trying to setup a “ponderings” page, which I did, but then I did a post and it went to my main page.. So, I finally gave up and just added a “ponderings” category 🙂 At almost 2am, I decided it wasn’t worth the effor to try the other way.
As always, thanks for the comments.
Wonderful moment.Thank-you for sharing this. Another thing….I’ve noticed people don’t pause and listen with a gaze at the person talking as much as they used to. I think courtesies are changing.
thanks.. another thing I see more of is that people talk while wearing their shades.. it bothers me. Most of the time I take my shades off when I’m talking with people. I like seeing someone’s eyes and making that connection. There’s a lot said with the eyes and if nothing else, you can see if they are listening or off in lala land. When I was in the Coast Guard and we boarded boats, we would wear shades for the very reason of not wanting people to see our eyes. That way we could talk to them and still scan the boat etc. If out on the deck, we could also catch movement behind us with the types of shades we wore because the movement was caught in the reflection of the inside of the shades…
My point is that we did it on purpose then, because we didn’t want others looking at our eyes. Now I take them off because I want to make that eye connection. So along with hugging, take off your shades and let folks see you! 🙂
thanks for the comments
That is totally interesting that you were taught to wear shades by the coast guard. I never thought of that but it’s true! Thanks fo sharing that info!
I wouldn’t so much say that we were taught as much as we figured it out. We likely wore shades because a) it was sunny and honestly, b) we thought it was cool.. Later we found a pair of shades that were flat, we thought looked good and we found would allow us to catch movement behind us. Shades also allowed us to keep our head toward a person while looking elsewhere so they got the impression we were still looking at them.