Monday, January 11, 2010

Adventure of a Lifetime Begins with a Human Touch

Greetings from Prague, Czech Republic! I am writing while attending the TEFL course that just started today...a rigorous schedule that starts at 10 in the morning until 6 at night...with a cross section from around the world...or so it seems...from California, Canada, and Colorado. This Motley crew of teachers, professionals from multiple sectors that all have their stories of how they came to choose to come here in January at the height of one of the worst storms that Europe has had in a very long time.

After spending a must needed vacation in Paris for two weeks I hope to share this special journey that evolved from an image that I had in my mind while I was teaching English in South Korea. This picture clearly shows the power we all have to create our lives each day of our precious journey. I wanted to share with you an incredible encounter I had while on my way to Prague.

I was in Gare du Nord (which simply means the North Terminal) in Paris. A homeless man approached me and looked into my eyes and took my gloved hand and put it to his cheek. He didn't ask me for a thing, but just to be touched. In the gulf of his pain that I could see in his eyes, I saw the cry of a man to be a man again. I was speechless and withdrew my hand and took off my glove and he took my hand and held it, just simply stood by me.

I thought about the courage it took him to approach me. It moved my heart and my eyes threatened to tear up. He then moved my hand to his cheek and then to his neck, which begged for the touch of a woman. The moment lacked words, but had the human moment without words of touching an untouchable in the view of society.

I thought about my potential reaction to recoil out of fear, but I was not afraid. I saw the deeper meaning, the hunger we all have to be touched out of love and not fear. I walked away and mouthed the words, 'I care'...perhaps that is what we all need to do more of.

Without regard for public appearance...the people watched and were horrified and it magnetized them at the same time. I have no regrets for touching this was what he needed and that transcended our languages.