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Human Touch

posted Jun 26, 2019, 11:24 PM by Indu Upasena
Never underestimate the power of the human touch!

Research shows that when a person is touched by another person, signals are sent to the brain which the brain translates into happiness, comfort and feelings of security. These feelings helps to decrease stress.

Recently  I have been volunteering with different organizations to help feed the homeless, and I often wonder why those who are born here in the United States end up in skid row.

On March 31st, 2018, a group of us volunteered to serve dinner to homeless families sheltered by the Union Station Family Center in Pasadena a place I am hoping to visit more often and learn how may i be of help.

Among many others. two families in particular caught my attention that evening, they walked into the dining room lethargically, and sat down looking weary and tired.

The food was cooked and served by the volunteers and placed on the counter to be picked up by the people when they came in, but to my surprise no one made a move.

I noticed a young attractive African American mother of 4 children (ages 7, 6 ,4 and an infant of about a year old).  She wouldn't even look up. We went over and asked if she would like us to bring the food to their table. She replied with a smile, "Yes please."

I was amazed to see her beautiful smile. When I told her that she has a beautiful smile, her smile got wider. We served the food and I attempted to make conversation with her children, and they mostly smiled shyly.

After dinner the older boy sat next to the mother moved his hands to a rhythm and showed off his talent to me. He was happy. The little girl sang, but I could hardly hear her voice, but we all laughed together.

 After they finished eating, the mother cleaned the table and swept the area and said thank you with grateful smile before leaving the room with her children.

Caring is sharing! If you want to be uplifted, uplift another!

Human nature craves to be seen, understood the pain struggle with care and love in our ❤s without judgement.

I woke up the next morning with a new frame of mind at the problem. Hoping and praying that there will be more shelters like this that will help fallen families to get their lives back in order.

I have walked in their shoes and know the pain of not just hunger for food, but hunger for the human touch. Hunger for healthy genuine concern during the hard times.

The family center is a great place and a sanctuary for families to get back on their feet. It provides families the opportunity to stay together, which is a great privilege that cannot be articulated in words.

The word sanctuary reminded me how the subway train has become a place specially for feeble elderly homeless people; a place to keep them safe and warm in the nighttime.

I also noticed the public library is a sanctuary mostly for young homeless people who spend time there during the day, educate themselves in a friendly safe place until they find a way.

Skid Row Coffee in a corner of the library is also a nonprofit social enterprise cafe and job training program that provides products and services that nourish the mind, body and soul; uplifting creative minds and spirit.

Serving homeless families brought back the memories of the Welcome House in Srilanka. The House was a place for young inadequate and disadvantaged women in desperate need of help to recover and start over after building self-confidence. Sadly, the facility was not equipped to accommodate families, so we didn't have the opportunity of having our children with us.

That evening while serving the homeless I realized people are more hungry for human touch: a connection, than for food.

It's degrading enough to be homeless and having to depend on handouts but being discriminated against by the society as being less than human is even worse.

It's easy for us to feed the homeless from our comfort zones and leave feeling good that a good deed was done. But we need to do more. We are saved! We ought to save others with love and compassion.

Serving the homeless that day sent me back in memory lane. I reminisce with gratitude as I recall my former boss Arthur, who left a permanent mark on me. He came to visit me at the time I was at the bottom of the pit. His cheerful attitude uplifted my broken spirit as he never gave me the "poor Teera look’ which meant so much to my hungry heart for human touch. Hope!

A white couple with 3 little children also caught my attention. The mother held the infant tight in the safely on her lap. I could feel the anguish that was written all over her. But she was still very beautiful.

She seemed annoyed and irritated at the beginning. Her husband looked beaten down but was also a handsome young man. The children were cheerful and happy and played together. The parents didn't make eye contact with anyone. Obviously, they were shamed of having to depend on handouts. The Lady also cleaned up after the children finished eating.

I offered to give her a hand to finish up and  While cleaning the table I told her she is very beautiful. She smiled big. A shining smile.

Most of the families ate very little, some plates were untouched, but they all seemed so grateful to be served with love.

That night I remembered how hungry I was for the Human Touch when I was at a very low point and had hit the rock bottom. Because I walked in their shoes, I certainly understand their pain.

Common suffering is a great Unifier.

A little act of kindness goes a long way for the fallen families who crave for the human touch that give them HOPE for new beginnings.

Families belongs together. All the kids were quite happy as they feel safe with loving parents.

Nurture is the key to Healthy relationships. Children  should be able to live with at least one loving caring parent figure even if they have one messily meal to share together, so  they are sent out to the world to live a life that matters in  harmony.

As the time goes by, I see ordinary people in silence finding extraordinary ways to give a hand by opening doors to the fallen in the city of Angels. Eliminate poverty and homelessness!

 Homeless really doesn't need to pollute the streets and spaces people pass by and occupy.

Nobody likes litter bugs.

Los Angeles, the city of abundance. Contamination continues. Cleaning must continue!

Angels without wings.

We cannot do great things on this earth. We can do little things with great LOVE; Mother Theresa.

In God's Love.