Sunday, January 17, 2010

30 Days of Touching

Day 10: A quarter for your thoughts

As I mentioned in my last blog, I was out of town for the past four days at Sustainable Faith in Cincinnati where I began a spiritual direction program. It was an incredibly wonderful experience! I felt as if I was with “my people”—people who love to go deep with one another and see what God is up to in the environs of another's heart. I am trying to sift through the many experiences and decide what to write about—no easy task.

David Nixon, the founder of Sustainable Faith and leader of the cohort told us about an interesting social experiment. Researchers conducted a study where they placed a quarter in a phone booth and waited for a person to come along to make a phone call. The researchers wanted to know if the caller would pick up the quarter. They usually did. When they exited the phone booth, a person would approach them and ask if they had found a quarter in the phone booth. Only about 25 % admitted they did and returned the quarter.

They staged the experiment again. This time, when the “plant” approached the person, he or she walked up and gently and unobtrusively touched the person’s arm. Then the person would ask if this individual had found his or her quarter. 80 % of the people said, “Yes” and returned it.

What does this experiment tell us about the efficacy of human touch? Something happens when humans touch. Energy is exchanged. A subliminal bond is formed. We become personal. We touch the humanity in another and that makes it harder to rip them off.

A quarter for your thoughts.

No comments: