Touch

I realize the title is a bit odd, particularly now, but stick with me! One of my favorite songs is Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. You know the one, right! “Hands, touching hands. Reaching out, touching me, touching you.” Maybe you were lucky enough to hear the pandemic version of that song. Pretty ingenious by him, to say the least: “Hands, washing hands, reaching out, Don’t touch me. I won’t touch you.” How many of you will have trouble getting that song out of your head now!

Over the Christmas holiday, my family stayed more local to avoid “touch” and utilized Zoom for my Dad’s annual Hallmark Christmas movie trivia contest. We were all huddled around our laptops. Turned out ok. Dad was appreciative. Definitely wasn’t anything close to holiday touching.

Touching brings many different thoughts to people’s minds. The question is, how do we “touch” people in our current environment. I will do my best to stay out of the political fray and medical research. We know that touching does impact transmission of disease and I won’t go beyond that. Touching also impacts other aspects of our lives.

Touch is so important in our lives. Think of how a baby or young child reacts to touch. How about a pet. Think of how you react to touch, if you can remember back that far. There is a physiological reaction to touch, most times good.

It is so awkward walking up to people now, too. I get the sense that people are looking toward some sort of touch, a handshake—high five—something, but many are clear in their non-verbal message not to get near them. The time is down the road when we get back to an appropriate comfort level. Somebody said the other day that when COVID is over he will get back to touching. Sadly, COVID will never be over, like many diseases, but we will have it under control so we can touch again.

Zoom and other virtual meeting tools have been a poor second to walking into a room, looking somebody in the eye and shaking hands. The other day I walked into a corporate meeting room and we all bumped elbows (although one brave soul did a gloveless fist bump with me). It was far better than Zoom but still not touching. We can be face-to-face if we are smart.

Having been involved with the non-profit and education world for most of my life, touch is something we talk about often. Our touches have had to be more creative with our donors and sponsors. The days of a coffee meeting are more challenging, so how do we stay connected? Touches are contacts with key donors, sponsors, or board members.

Quite honestly, a business like DigiCOPY can help in that regard. While it does not achieve the level of physical touch, communicating through “touch” can still be done. It could be a poster, creative card, special letterhead, mailed newsletter (imagine that!), stickers, photo book, puzzle, or brochure.

Until we can physically touch, we must use the tools at our disposal and get creative. One “touch” we can make is an intentional act of kindness. Pay Forward. Add Value To Others. Touch.

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