Banning touching is dangerous

banning-touchOne school in the US is formally banning all physical contact between students.

Apparently the ban on contact is an overreaction to a brawl gone bad. A kid got a kick in the groin and needed medical treatment. For the record: that s*cks. But let’s be real here: do we really think that banning touching will avoid pupils to touch each other in non-respectful ways?

Do we really think that banning touching will avoid pupils to touch each other in non-respectful ways?

It might at first, but the long-term result will be something much worse than a kick in the groin.

Touch is what made us who we are

Our first and foremost means of communication and social connection was and is physical. Before we had language we used physical expression and touch for social grooming.

That’s how we connected.

It’s only when tribes grew bigger that we started using language to help spreading and upholding a larger sense of connection. Yet every concept of connection in language had to be / or came to be grounded in reality at one point or another. And even more: when we are born our most importan way of communicating with our world is physical.

In short: we needed and still need touch to stay in touch with reality.

Brain masturbation shrinks the brain

Yet over time we’ve lured ourselves into believing that we could do the whole damn trick by thinking and talking only. That we had to find a way to outsmart the beast/animal within ourselves and that thinking was the way to do this.

In other words: some of us started to get brain-fixated and engaged in what I call a form of systemic or societal organised brain masturbation.

The sad truth is that by paying so much respect to conscious (and mostly rational) thinking we’ve actually rather limited our brains instead of using them to their full extent.

Physical intelligence

Much of the intelligence we have comes from what I’ve call physical thinking. It’s the sum of the information being gathered and exchanged by our full sensory system. What we consider as conscious thinking is only a very, very small part of the thinking we actually do in order to survive.

So funny enough, most of our thinking is done without us even knowing it.

From that perspective banning all physical contact in schools, allthough initially looked upon as something very smart, is actually doing something very stupid.

Clipping their wings while demanding them to fly

A school is supposed to give children the tools they need to explore their talents, to survive in this world and even make it a better place.

What this school did by banning physical contact is exactly the opposite. Instead of giving them a playground and a lab-like environment to experiment with their physical intelligence and discover more ways to learn about the world and about living together with other people, this school is clipping their pupils wings so radically that they might not be able to fly anymore after all.

Not who’s to blame but what’s to do?

Yet these people are not to blame. Not by me nor by anybody else. They solely express the desire to protect their children. What this story proves is that some adults are uncomfortable with their own sensory system to such an extent that they feel they should keep children from physically touching each other.

But they can be held responsible for what they do with their children and pupils if somebody has confronted them with what they are doing and how it can harm these children and if they are offered the means to deal with these situations in a proper way.

A new view on being open-minded

There are thousands of people out there who are definitely in touch with life and reality. If schools and societies want to help their children to learn how to touch themselves, each other and the world in proper ways, they need to find these people, ask them for their help and remain open-minded at all time.

Open, as in, there’s more to me than meets the inner eye.

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