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  • Writer's picturePaul Cotter

Holding Hands (Part One)

Close-up of intertwined tree roots on a wooded trail in Nova Scotia

On a wooded trail in Nova Scotia I noticed the roots of these trees, intertwined as if they were holding hands. It was a tender, intimate little scene – and it made me reflect on the importance of touch to life itself.

Research shows that plants respond to the sensation of touch. For humans, it’s not just a sensory experience – it’s something that’s essential to our survival.

As Nicole K. McNichols Ph.D. wrote in an article in Psychology Today, “The research demonstrating the need for human touch is vast. From a developmental standpoint, infants literally cannot survive without human touch.”

Science knows it, and in our hearts we know it too: We need each other.

We need each other, even if that need isn't always readily apparent. At the infusion center where I get the chemo treatments for my blood cancer, there’s a small sign at the check-in desk: “Be kind to everyone. Others are fighting a battle that you know nothing about.”

I love that sign.

As you go about your day today, consider going out of your way to offer a kind word, a touch of kindness to someone you meet. Perhaps, like the trees with intertwined roots, you might reach out and hold the hand of someone you care about.

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it with a friend or posting to your social media account.


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