Updated: Mar 6
We are here to talk about touching. In the 21th century, contact between two individuals is often verbal or electronic but scarcely is it also physical. Because of this I find it unsurprising that people feel shy or uncomfortable when discussing physical contact. I have to clarify the physical contact can act as a friendly, positive and gentle effect. The intention is about communication between people. I’m a believer in the healing powers of touch. However, we have been losing touch of this natural ability.
What schools and family have taught me about touching
I grew up in a family where we barely hug or kissed. Only my father was the exception (he is a Scorpio), he would ask me to kiss his cheeks and forehead everyday before he left for work. I wasn’t so keen to kiss my dad when I was young due to the strong smell of cigarettes. At least it was something about physical contact I can recall from my childhood.
Growing up in the metropolitan city of Hong Kong. Touching education was never brought up in my 12 years free academic education. We are labeled as a bad girl and bit*h if you were too touchy with the opposite sex. In acedemia it seems to have become taboo to tap, hug, hold hand or to even hive-five students. I have never learnt that patting someone’s head or shoulder, or just high-five someone can mean a lot until I graduated from school.
Hugging education needs to be practiced
I started hugging people (strangers) when I was 18 years old. I would sometimes offer FREE HUGS with my best friend, near the TST harbour one Christmas Eve. We were holding a hand-written banner and stood there for hours waiting for people to take us up on our offer of a hug. It was long and fruitless wait. We were stared at by people who wouldn’t dare come near, passing us like we were two shards of glass. The good thing was, we’ve learnt that we were lucky, open-minded and brave enough to start doing this once in our lives. Even though that night was crazily freezing and windy near the harbour, the festive Christmas was absolutely warm with those strangers’ hugs.
Whilst travelling in Dublin 3 years ago, I met two girls who were from Germany and the US. I still remember the first comment that I had received from them was: She wasn’t so Chinese, because I’d given them a solid and warm embrace when I first met them. I think in their minds Asian people are always conservative, closed and shy away from physical contact.
What happens when we let go of the fear and open our arms to hold someone?
Will that make me richer? No.
Will that make me smarter? No.
Will that make me prettier? Yes and no.
So many times, we think too much and our body is so stiff to move. Start from today, I reeducate myself the meaning of touching. The key question to be asked is, what are your limited believes about touching?