Since the time of birth, we as a species crave human contact. There have been extensive studies done with primates that prove the need for physical contact.Without contact these primates exhibit anti social behavior. Symptoms of anxiety, were reclusive and exhibited social deficits. The primates that were raised with a mother but no playmates exhibited fear and aggressive behavior. (See Dr. Harry Harlow Rhesus Macaques.)
These studies have been the cornerstone for psychological development studies in children raised in situations were their early development and lack of attachment have been a direct source of aggressive, anti social and in some cases violent behavior. You can disagree with the analysis of these scientists but I am going to carry it a step further. I believe this carries on into every age in growth and development.
Have any of you ever met someone that exclaims “I don’t like to be touched” I know I have met several people that have made this statement. and I have noticed they have the same character traits as the subjects in these studies. Almost to the person they claim to be loners because they like it that way. Or they don’t have any personal relationships because they “Can’t relate to people”, or they “don’t work well with others”. This type of behavior is in my opinion anti social and can be dangerous. The last person I met that made these types of claims attacked his room mate with a hatchet and shot himself in the head. He was 27. I also believe that boys raised in a home with a strong matriarch and no strong positive male role models have a predisposition towards misogynistic tendencies. I remember talking to the Rev. Cecil Murray who at the time was the leader of the First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles just before to the Riots in L.A. and he hypothesized that the downfall for young black youth in America was the lack of interaction with positive role models for young men in the African American community.
At the time I believed he was on to something and I still do, but I think there is another part of the equation. I believe that a nurturing home can break this cycle of distrust and violence. I know, the old “Nature verses Nurture argument”, and yes there are people that are just born with a chemical and developmental deficiency in the brain that will cause violence and negative behavior. But that is another argument for another time.
I am going to put forth the hypothesis that continued separation from loving human contact into adulthood can cause even more issues. Failed relationships, depression, addiction, and violence. As a parent this is a concern, as it should be , that my child not fall into this downward spiral, and take out his anger on society. It has become almost a punchline about the twenty something that lives in his parents basement with no friends and trolls the internet all day and night. Or the comic book aficionado that pours over his books all day and night and only converses with others on subjects like Batman vs Superman. The ability of these people to become reclusive and given access to huge volumes of information and like minded people has given rise to a new type of social outcast with violent tendencies.
Now lets throw access to deadly weapons into the equation and you have a recipe for a deadly killer who doesn’t consider other people as important or even human in some cases. You can see where this is going. Can you imagine what happens when these armed sociopaths are let loose on society. most of us don’t have to, we have all seen it play out on the news over and over. The only thing that I can come up with that is even a viable solution, is to put yourself out there and make a difference when you can. We cannot afford to sit on the side lines and watch the slaughter of the innocent. Right now it seems to affect males more than females, but those lines are starting to blur, and I’m beginning to see young women showing these same signs as the gender barriers are becoming less and less. You can’t expect the Government to help. They have proven that, with their funding cuts in mental health care. The schools don’t have the necessary funding to address this serious issue, even though they are the unfortunate battle ground for most of this violence. It will fall on each and every one of us to make the difference.
‘What can I do?” well, that’s a lot easier than you think. If you know someone that is suffering, show them kindness, let them know you are there for them, “No Matter What”. pull them out of their shell. It is hard work but well worth it. If you can show one person that suffers that they are not alone and that they matter you could save lives. It will take patience and compassion to make a difference, but this has to happen. I can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch this tragedy play out and I am challenging any one who reads this to try and make a difference. All it takes is a “Human Touch”
For You Kelly, I wish now, I had done more.