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Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by grandpaw7, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. grandpaw7

    grandpaw7 Thread Starter

    Aug 19, 2000
    Many years ago I read a book, well, actually skimmed a book, by a guy named Ashley Montagu entitled Touching: "The Human Significance of the Skin". The book interested me because the subject of touch interested me, and that largely because I felt a need, even a hunger, for touch.

    The story in the book that caught my attention said that many years ago, it seems like in the early nineties, it was noted that most babies in the orphanages in Germany were dying. The doctors could not figure out the cause. They could not figure out why some of the babies died and others didn't, although the babies seemed equally healthy to begin with. Then, someone noticed that this little old lady, we'll call her Martha, would go around and hold and cuddle some of the babies. And it turned out that these were the babies who lived. The babies who received nurturing touch were the ones who survived in this orphanage.

    I've wondered if the story was authentic or not but have no way of knowing. But if not authentic, I consider it to be one of those myths that may be false but is always true, That is, the actual experience may not have happened, but the principle illustrated is true.

    I feel like I have suffered from a lack of touch, perhaps from my Mom but definitely from a rather cold former wife whose own childhood experiences made touch something to avoid. That hunger has, I think, served a good purpose in that it has motivated me strongly to try to serve children and others in need well. So now I volunteer in kindergarten and first grade classes and enjoy the pleasure of having these beautiful children provide me with much nurturing hugging, which in turn, in my opinion, also provides them with a similar nourishment. The other side of the coin is that I am thus strongly motivated to be of service to these children, to do what I can to bring them enjoyment and benefit from my tutoring. I can't think of a more mutually beneficial experience than working with these young children, it's a match made in heaven as it were. And if it weren't for the hugging I get from my young granddaughter, life would be much less rich and I would be much less motivated to live it in an active and productive way.

    I feel some reluctance to share this kind of intimacy on the forum because of experiences I have had in which some meanspirited posters like to take advantage of such sharing to display their expertise at critically psychoanalyzing a person they know very little about and about whom they have no business making judgments.
  2. Rockn


    Jul 29, 2001
    Yet you are always the one that brings these subjects to light and doesn't want to take the criticism....whatever.

    Regardless, there are other instances of childrend becoming develomentally stunted due to lack of human contact and touch. Recent stories out of the former Soviet Union and other easter block countries are proof of the effects of neglect. Look up Romanian and Russian orphanges on Google and expect the worst.
  3. grandpaw7

    grandpaw7 Thread Starter

    Aug 19, 2000
    Rockn: "Yet you are always the one that brings these subjects to light and doesn't want to take the criticism....whatever."

    Why would a person expose a weakness or vulnerability in his life if in doing so he was inviting other posters to criticize or judge him on the basis of that weakness or vulnerabililty? The subject of the thread is the importance of touch; it is not grandpaw7. Attitudes such at that expressed by Rockn have a dampening effect on people’s willingness to talk about themselves. It doesn’t take much of that to sterilize a forum so that posters only talk about others and not about themselves. People often benefit from having others reflect on their own experiences, as is illustrated in the current threads entitled " How did you cope after losing your dog?" and "Mending fences after someone you love dies". But people need, and deserve, a safe place to share their intimate experiences.
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