I sometimes give the "This I Believe" prompt to my students. Here is one of my drafts in response to that prompt, with a belief I've been thinking about a lot lately:
I believe in the power of human contact: a hug, a handsqueeze, a stroke.
In the night, when I am wakeful, worried about family or friends, my husband's stroke on my head or shoulder tells me he's aware of me and my needs.
When a friend gets the news--after a year of battling her husband's cancer, through repeated series of chemo and surgeries and medications--and after being told just three months earlier that--MIRACLE--all four stage 4 cancers were in remission--that he is now filled with incurable cancers in every part of his body and she must tell her daughter who is away at college--I can hold her hand. It isn't a cure, but it's something.
When my grandmother stepped off the plane, I could see the signs of trauma. Her caregiver had threatened her and locked her in her room, had abused her verbally. She walked to my mother and me, and the three of us embraced. Just stood there and held each other. I could feel healing begin.
Touch matters. Babies die without it. We all do, a little.