Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness~ Galatians 5:22

There've been some nutters around down the centuries.  Take Frederick II, a Holy Roman Emperor who thought if babies were never spoken to they would somehow grow up speaking Hebrew ~ & set about to prove his hypotheses by raising a group of orphaned infants who were never spoken to & received only the minimal amount of touch necessary to bath & feed them.  Not surprisingly all the infants died before they uttered a single word.

In 1915 Dr Henry Dwight Chapman found that there was nearly a 100% mortality rate of infants under 2 years in American orphanages ~ directly attributable to a lack of touch.  At the time there was a "No Coddling" policy in place.

Then in the 1940s Renee Spitz thought he could reduce the incidence of disease by limiting human contact.  Another unlucky batch of orphans was experimented upon. More disease, more death & in the cleanest & most sterile environments the death rate rose to over 75%!

Sometimes the only thing to be done is hold someone as they weep, press their hand in sympathy, offer a hug. Simple kindness is a rare commodity these days, rarer than I thought.  See Star is innately kind.  She's the one I can rely one for a hug when I need one.  She's the one who will see a need & cheerfully assume responsibility for seeing that need is met.  Invariably if I lose Star getting off the boat it's because she's stopped to help someone carry their groceries or steady their walker, hold a baby, or a purse or the cat cage & I wait at the end of the jetty until I see her pony~tail bobbing towards me, her face wreathed in smiles.

Now in this day & age I can understand an older person being reluctant to hand over their belongings to a strong strapping teenager but a simple, "No thank you," is at least polite.  Sadly the rebuffs are usually less than polite.  Star has the happy knack of being able to shrug those off but I want her to continue to think of others beside herself.  We all need that touch of gentleness in our lives, the sense that someone has noticed our predicament & cares enough to draw alongside & help.  We all need a little kindness, the comforting hug, the blessing of touch.  I'm off to give Star a hug.  Who are you going to hug today?


Joyfulmum said...

reading about Star moved me deeply! wow! I woke up to a hug from dd this morning:) she is the recipent of a lot of my hugs these days. I am not much of a hugging person generally probably cultural I guess but I love dd's and dh's hugs:)
Great thoughts here Ganeida, very inspiring!

Amanda said...

I'm a lover of hugs. As your post suggests, we can't live without the human touch, including loving words.

Beautiful post. Star doesn't have a mean look about her, not one little bit... I am surprised anyone would be wary of her.

Ruby said...

I'm a hugger, too!♥
I've had well over my usual quota today since we've had the whole day with the grandchildren♥
I learned/ observed the importance of those simple gestures very young as my own mother, who knew the trials of a large number of small children, would always stop to help young mums and oldies. It just seems natural. Though some are reluctant to receive help, as you say, I am always heartened by good mannered young teens opening doors etc and I find it does still happen.

Ganeida said...

Rosemary: I'm not a hugger either but I always made a point of hugging my kids when tehy were little. Now they sometimes give me hugs. ☺

Amanda: Star is a big girl. I think that's what makes people sometimes wary but one look at her face & you know she's perfectly harmless. lol

Ruby: It does still happen thankfully. It disheartens me to see ungracious adults when the teens have made the effort to be kind & thoughtful & generous with their time.

Pen Wilcock said...


Hooray for lovingkindness!

Go, Star!


Anonymous said...

As I grow older and grumpier, I never fail to be impressed by teens and kids who offer help, hold doors open and generally display good manners towards complete strangers. I also never fail to thank them and make sure they know the gesture has not been wasted.

One of the legs of a recent long-haul plane trip was made much pleasanter recently by a lovely 10- or 12-year old boy across the aisle from me who looked for lost things under seats, engaged me and his mother in genuine and intelligent conversation and displayed beautiful manners. He put a lot of adult travellers on that trip to shame.

Sian the curmudgeon

seekingmyLord said...

Sweet! You know how much the Princess is like Star about things like this.