Written by Carioca Da Gema


An article about India’s caste system told a story of a house servant. She cooked, cleaned, and helped to raise the children for decades.  The servant was not allowed to touch any of the children, as she belongs to the untouchable caste. Toddlers frequently fall or bump into things.  The child responds with a panic cry that instantly goes away when the adult brings the toddler into their arms with a hug.  In a few moments, the child had enough and was back playing.  How terrified it must be, for the little ones, in a moment like this, not to be rescued by the adult and assured that all is well?

Three kisses on the face and a hug, is how Brazilians greet each other; in many social encounters, among regulars or complete strangers.  Physical contact is a normal part of Brazilian culture.

Texting and video chatting is replacing face to face interactions, meetings, and family gatherings.  Kids respond with a nod without taking their eyes off their phones.  Men and women use texting to hook up, break up, cheat, and have sex.  The ‘ Scrolling Down God’ we keep in our pockets can cash our paychecks, pay our bills, buy our food, send flowers to our mothers, tell us when to go to bed, and when to get up to do it all over again.

Social media gatherings are not social nor a gathering.  Human physical interaction is part of what makes us civilized. It feels better to share happy moments with hugs, than with our own physical space.  In moments of despair, a face to face conversation as well as a physical presence can provide immense comfort.


Baker’s hands full of flour knead the dough,

Gardener’s hands full of dirt dig holes,

Humans’ hands release support or share triumphs.


Physical expressions are PRICELESS, and repeatedly depicted in powerful images, reminding us of our daily lives and historical moments.



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