Connie Podesta is a motivational keynote speaker. You can find a variety of funny and insightful video clips of her on YouTube.
In one of her recorded talks, she talks about difficult people. She makes the case that difficult people don’t feel loved. She tells a fascinating story about a man named Harold:
A small hospital invited Connie to speak at a mandatory all-employee meeting. As you can imagine, nothing makes employees happier than a mandatory meeting.
In the back sat Harold. He looked like he was ready for retirement.
He slouched in his chair, arms folded, giving her a look that said, “I hate being here. There’s nothing you have to offer me.”
Wanting to include him, Connie went up and asked him his name. He replied that he didn’t have to tell her. He was present, and that’s all that was required.
She found a couple of other people in the audience more responsive. At break time, people came up to her and told her about old, mean Harold.
They said he’d been like this for five years. He used to be nice, but now he was nasty and mad, so people avoided him.
They didn’t know what had happened, but nobody talked to him anymore or invited him to anything.
When the session started again, she walked up to Harold, sat in his lap, and continued delivering her talk.
After three minutes, she started to get up, but he pulled her back into his lap. She talked that way for 45 minutes and at the end, his head lay on her shoulder.
After the session, she followed him out and asked him if he was OK. He turned to her sobbing, came up to her, and put his arms around her.
He said, “You are the first person who has touched me since my wife died, five years ago.”
We underestimate the power of touch.
How often do you touch your beloved? With a hug, a kiss, something more intimate?
Do you do it daily, first thing in the morning, last thing in the evening?
Or can days or weeks go by without a hug, a touch on the arm, a stroke of the hair, holding hands, a brush of the neck, kisses lightly around the eyes and on the cheeks, little massages on the back, or touching of feet?
Touch expresses intimacy.
Touch is the Gift of Service
that Affirms Quality.