What’s Up on Linda’s Mind
By Linda Benfield
In 1981 the American Communications Corporation, AT&T, came up with the slogan “Reach out and touch someone.” It was designed to promote use of the telephone, and it has worked far beyond what they could have imagined at the time.
People have become so accustomed to depending on the telephone they have actually ceased touching anyone. The telephone has surely surpassed any expectations the telephone company intended. This is all wonderful as far as communication opportunities, but we need to go back to physically touching people in everyday life.
Forty-two years ago, Diana Ross recorded a song with the lyrics: “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place if you can.” This song became a well known theme for the peace movement, but even though society sings along and believes the words that stir their emotions, they keep their hands to themselves. Most have compassion for their fellow man but don’t want to get involved in the drama.
No one spends time in this world without experiencing some kind of heartache and pain. Each person is equipped to handle whatever trial they are given, but it surely helps if there is someone who just tries to understand and let them know, often merely by a touch. Touching someone with compassion works both ways. It makes both parties feel better
Evil has perverted the act of touching to the point it is avoided for fear of being interpreted as wrong intentions. It does not have to be that way. There is a definite difference in the feeling of genuine concern and ulterior motives.
Many are so starved for love and understanding that they take on an attitude of indifference and detach themselves from all involvement. They are more comfortable using the phone. I know some who say they hate to be touched. They do not like to be hugged or touched in any way. If you hug someone and they become rigid and don’t move; this is the sign it makes them uncomfortable. Anytime this is noticed the best thing to do is avoid physical contact but be kind anyway, they will often become more comfortable if they see it is genuine. So the purpose here is not to encourage everyone to go out and touch people, but true compassion will guide you and help you know if it is appropriate.
I have hugged people I met for the first time, but then there are those I have known for years and still do not feel this is comfortable for them so I just hug them with kindness. Both ways work. The point here is to show kindness and compassion. When you run into someone who is hard to handle, picture them getting ready for the day and that they are just like you only something has caused them to be the way they are. We never know the whole story about anyone, so be kind.