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?