Every once in a while, I read pieces like the Washington Post’s “Date Lab”, where two individuals who have answered numerous questions about themselves – pertinent and im – are tossed together in a blind date orchestrated and paid for the Post. Then they’re interviewed. Following which, readers get to comment on the interviews, the daters themselves, and the answers they wrote perhaps months ago.
It’s a non-sexist, nominally non-ageist (most all participants weigh in with less than 35 years) endeavor that seems to attract more than a few extremely picky people. Well, what did you expect? They’re still young. Naturally they want (insert list of required traits here) in someone they’ll see for a second date. Yeah, not marriage or friendship, but second date. There aren’t many of those out in Date Lab Land.
Getting back to those questions. One I’ve always tuned into is: “If you could have a super-power, what would it be?” Oooh, the possibilities! Oddly, one of the most popular – among men, at least – is the ability to be invisible. (Did I say they were under 35?) Another, of course, is Superman-like flying. Spidey-style climbing comes up less frequently. In fact, comic book superheroes are woefully under-represented.
Here’s one I’d like to see more of (it’s mine, actually, but listen, this is a great idea): the ability to heal – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually – with a single touch AND the ability to pass on the same talent and knowledge with that touch.
Who would you touch first? Your family and friends and neighbors and co-workers, sure, naturally. But then? How could you spread the health faster? You’d touch people who touch people (cue Barbra Streisand). Who touches the most people in a given day?
Nurses. Physicians. Teachers, especially of small children.
Let’s get creative. Police officers. Prison guards – especially because their clientele needs healing more than most. (I recently heard a female prison guard complain about the decades-old closing of American mental hospitals – thanks, Ronald Reagan – because, as she put it, “prison is just a mental hospital with a victim happening before entry”.) Cashiers. Restaurant waitstaff. People running for office – all those handshakes and hugs.
See where I’m going here? It’s the access to human touch that would get the world healed quickest.
A few weeks ago I got to know a woman visiting from China, and one thing we discussed was the American penchant for hugging in public, especially on-campus. Turns out there’s not much hugging in China. Certainly not between people who barely know each other. How about good female friends? She shook her head. No, not even there.
Considering the recognized benefits of healthy hugs between friends or lovers, I hope China discovers ways to encourage such hugs, and soon. Even without the healing touch, it would do a body good. It would do the corporate body, the Chinese population, good.
And when I get my desired superpower, it won’t take as long to bring uniform health to China.
Oooh, flight attendants! Add to the list.