The Significance of Insignificance: Why the Little Things Matter

This really is a response that was going to be a comment but kind of morphed out of control in my head. The post was about two insignificant events

Think about human touch. What does it mean to you? To me it is the essence of humanity

Imagine going without any human touch for months. Not even so much as a handshake. I remember a period in my life going through this mostly because of the insignificant event that brought me to an understanding of myself with regards to human touch.

I was at the Catholic Church near my university.For those of you who don’t know, the sacrament (also known as  communion) is given every Sunday during mass (the church service). A noncatholic is not supposed to partake, however they can receive the blessing without the sacramental bread and wine if they cross their arms across their chest. Where I was the priest made the symbol of the cross on your forehead with his finger. When this occurred I hadn’t touched or been touched by another human being in months.

This sign of the cross nearly made me weep openly.

I wasn’t a Catholic at the time and still am not one. But the gesture was immensely personal and powerful. What was insignificant to probably the rest of the congregation was extremely significant to me. The touch was not religious to me. It was not a matter of Jesus Christ or any other deific character.

It was an expression of care.

And perhaps,

in the dark mires of depression in which care is assumed not to exist,

somehow this came through to me.

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2 thoughts on “The Significance of Insignificance: Why the Little Things Matter

  1. i can relate to this completely. It only takes a small physical contact to convey so much more than words can. A hand on the shoulder, or a one armed hug around the shoulder, or resting having someone rest their head on your shoulder leaves no ambiguity they care. It says “I’m right here with you”, not “I’m here with but I’ll stand a couple of steps back”. It’s as you said, the essence of humanity. I couldn’t have said it better.

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