Saturday, September 26, 2015

Never Stop Holding Hands

As I was driving through my neighborhood, I witnessed a scene that never fails to melt my heart - an elderly couple holding hands. 

Assuming that they have been together for many years (which is not always the case!), they have endured beautiful moments, fights, and obstacles.  Some can say this elderly couple is experienced in the battlefield of life, yet they still cling to each other, relying on their partner for support, guidance, and comfort. 

I don't know what the exact age is when people start feeling embarrassed to hold another's hand.  Perhaps it's the middle school independent years that make a child fear being caught holding their mother or father's hand; for sure, their crush or friends would think them "uncool".  Or perhaps it begins whenever we feel too experienced and mature to be held along the way.  Whatever the time may be, most people eventually let go, and this limits both our own progress and that of others.

There is a negative stigma attached to not knowing or not being experienced.  Many people never want to be considered uneducated or oblivious, especially when the opposite is the truth.   As knowledgeable as one is, there is never a point in life where someone should be completely ready to let go.  A true, well-versed expert understands that there is never an "ending" point to knowledge or skill; there is always something else to learn.  New information, technology, and methods are constantly developed and found by other people.  If you let your hands go, you will miss out on all the information and guidance that others out there have claim over.  You will set yourself further back from being "an expert".    Your integrity will not be demeaned if you ask others to lead you.  A guiding hand can help you discover even more.

Holding hands does not only impact your own life.  Someone may be reaching for your hand because they need some guidance or some comfort.  Perhaps they want to clasp your hand simply to show love.  I, myself, realized this not too long ago.  Being in my 20s, I used to think that I was well past the typical age of holding hands, but my grandmother seemed to not think so.  Whenever I walk through a parking lot with her, she always reaches for my hand.  Typically, I would quizzically side-glance her, scan the area to assess potential judgment, and then finally hold her hand briefly, pretending to "naturally" let go at the first excuse that I concocted.  After all, there wasn't any need for me to be held.  I don't have a strong grasp on all things in my life, but the parking lot I can handle.  This was the mindset I had. 

While on a recent adventure with my grandma, we were both truly having fun, enjoying each other's company.  As usual, my grandma reached for my hand in the parking lot.  This time, I noticed the genuine smile highlighting her face and I could feel the happiness radiating from her.  It was at this moment that I realized that she reached out to my hand because it is her way of showing love; it is her way of feeling comfort.  How could I be so self-centered to deny someone these feelings?  This time, I didn't hesitate; I proudly and lovingly held her hand all the way to the store.

Sometimes people forget or ignore the outreach of others, just like I did.  When we do this, we deny them our guidance or our comfort; we basically turn them away, leaving them to travel alone.  The next time someone reaches out to you, don't hesitate; hold onto them.  Lead them, guide them, and show them love.  Be each others' support so that both of you can persevere  on a long journey ahead.  

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