JavaScript is disabled in your web browser or browser is too old to support JavaScript. Today almost all web pages contain JavaScript, a scripting programming language that runs on visitor's web browser. It makes web pages functional for specific purposes and if disabled for some reason, the content or the functionality of the web page can be limited or unavailable.
Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: What if I laughed, touched and had the courage to trust

Vieraskieliset / In-english
25.4.2022 6.00

Juttua muokattu:

8.4. 12:29
2022040812292420220425060000

Text: Hel­mi Yr­jä­nä

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

At the be­gin­ning of the ye­ar, I wrote down three wis­hes. I al­so inc­lu­ded them in my pra­yers.

I wis­hed for more laugh­ter this ye­ar. I would like to hear child­ren gig­g­le with ge­nui­ne joy or howl with de­light and my dear ones laugh hap­pi­ly, chuck­le be­ne­vo­lent­ly, tit­ter be­hind their hand, or dis­sol­ve in un­cont­rol­lab­le laugh­ter. In ad­di­ti­on to he­a­ring pe­op­le laugh, I would de­fi­ni­te­ly love to join them, so­me­ti­mes ti­red enough not to know if I am laug­hing or crying (the ot­hers kno­wing even less).

When I he­ard the warm and hap­py laugh­ter of a friend yes­ter­day, I won­de­red if we could so­me­how pre­ser­ve laugh­ter for the bad days. For sure, there are ways to re­cord sound, but I find them a bit dull. A jar of laugh­ter would be a fun re­min­der of the days spent laug­hing hard and the te­ars of hap­pi­ness that fol­lo­wed. The jar would bub­b­le in cheer­ful co­lors and in­vi­te pe­op­le to open it. For me, ho­we­ver, there might not be enough laugh­ter left for a co­lor­less and ti­red day, be­cau­se I would use up one day’s laugh­ter du­ring one hap­py eve­ning. It would be lo­ve­ly to curl up in bed to lis­ten to the joy of my dear ones.

And if the day’s laugh­ter were not used right away, it might go stale in the jar, lose its bub­b­li­ness and end up soun­ding like bleak ar­ti­fi­ci­al guf­faws. You would the­re­fo­re have to col­lect and store new laugh­ter eve­ry day. That is ac­tu­al­ly a char­ming and com­for­ting thought: one could hear new kinds of laugh­ter ari­sing from dif­fe­rent si­tu­a­ti­ons and trig­ge­red by dif­fe­rent events eve­ry day. And if one were ab­le to lis­ten to just one burst of laugh­ter from a fa­mi­li­ar or even unk­nown per­son, I am sure the co­lor of life would have more hap­py to­nes of yel­low.

Du­ring the past stran­ge ye­ars, I have oc­ca­si­o­nal­ly pau­sed to won­der how much ea­sier eve­ryt­hing would be if we did not take life too se­ri­ous­ly. Ins­te­ad of cons­tant­ly wor­rying, we could free­ly let our dre­ams float among the light blue clouds. And whe­ne­ver we feel that the world is an ut­ter­ly hor­rib­le place, laugh­ter would su­re­ly help. I would like to quo­te what Har­ry Pot­ter says at the end of the fourth book of the se­ries: "I could do with a few laughs. We could all do with a few laughs. I've got a fee­ling we are going to need them more than usu­al be­fo­re long." (J.K Row­ling, Har­ry Pot­ter and the Gob­let of Fire.)

My se­cond wish was that, when I meet my friends this ye­ar, I would dare to touch them. To hug, to shake hands, or even just to brush light­ly to show that they are worth touc­hing. It is es­pe­ci­al­ly im­por­tant for pe­op­le who live alo­ne or do not so­ci­a­li­ze much to be touc­hed on­ce in a while.

Touc­hing is a huge and enc­han­ting to­pic. It may in­vol­ve good but al­so pain­ful me­mo­ries. When I was at Opis­to, I con­duc­ted a small sur­vey among the stu­dents about the cul­tu­re of touc­hing, and I am hap­py I have kept the re­sults. It was, and still is, in­te­res­ting to read about the dif­fe­rent ex­pe­rien­ces of touc­hing, es­pe­ci­al­ly those that are cle­ar­ly dif­fe­rent from mine. Some of the res­pon­dents said that, be­fo­re co­ming to Opis­to, they did not feel com­for­tab­le to hug their friends. Many found it ea­sier to hug their friends than their fa­mi­ly mem­bers, and those who were used to hug­ging at home al­so found it ea­sier to touch ot­her pe­op­le. None of the res­pon­dents felt com­for­tab­le about touc­hing pe­op­le they did not know. Any­way, I was hap­py to read that many found touc­hing an es­sen­ti­al part of life.

I find it per­fect­ly na­tu­ral to touch pe­op­le who are close to me. By touc­hing I show that I care about them. It is al­so nor­mal in our fa­mi­ly to touch each ot­her. We may not ver­ba­li­ze our fee­lings but show them by touc­hing. It is qui­te com­mon in our fa­mi­ly to soft­ly touch or tick­le so­me­o­ne in pas­sing or even give them a friend­ly poke. Hug­ging is al­so a na­tu­ral part of life, and we hug ne­ar­ly al­wa­ys when gree­ting or sa­ying good­bye.

When the pan­de­mic be­gan, the need to main­tain so­ci­al dis­tan­ce made it ne­ar­ly im­pos­sib­le to touch pe­op­le. Be­fo­re that, I used to hug my friends and shake hands with my ac­qu­ain­tan­ces eve­ry time we met or left each ot­her. At first the lack of con­tact see­med stran­ge, so­me­how cold and too ca­su­al, but we got used to it pret­ty quick­ly. So quick­ly in fact that it was al­most scary. When things imp­ro­ved for a while, I won­de­red about hug­ging. So­me­ti­mes I did hug, but of­ten I didn’t.

I re­mem­ber how, du­ring the first fall of the pan­de­mic, a friend told me about ex­pec­ting baby, and I did not dare to hug her. I cong­ra­tu­la­ted her ac­ross a coup­le of me­ters. It felt qui­te si­nis­ter, as I would nor­mal­ly have gone and hug­ged her to pie­ces. I hug­ged this friend for the first time in more than a ye­ar, when we came to­get­her for her baby sho­wer about a month be­fo­re the baby was due. It was dif­fi­cult to un­ders­tand that I could not have shown her my sup­port and em­pat­hy by hug­ging for such a long time.

I need touc­hing, as does eve­ry­bo­dy el­se. The best re­me­dy for a shor­ta­ge of touc­hing are child­ren, who know ins­tinc­ti­ve­ly how to touch. The small, gent­le hands of child­ren are such a great bles­sing! Du­ring the Christ­mas break I gave and re­cei­ved hugs and tick­les, ten­der stro­king and ge­ne­ral­ly en­jo­yed the pre­sen­ce of ot­hers. Just think about the hor­mo­nes of wel­l­being that flow from a ca­ring con­tact. It is ea­sy to be hap­py when you are touc­hed.

My third wish is that we would all be pa­tient enough to trust. We should trust that all things go exact­ly as the He­a­ven­ly Fat­her has me­ant them to go. There will be days that are ea­sier, sa­fer and more nor­mal, if that is God’s will. Wai­ting for those days of nor­ma­li­ty, time will pass quick­ly and more ple­a­sant­ly if we laugh and ex­pe­rien­ce friend­ly phy­si­cal con­tact. Let us be eve­ry­day an­gels to each ot­her.


I found on the road

a pair of dus­ty,

shrun­ken and stai­ned

wings of an an­gel.


The road was

about to grab them and

make them its own co­lor,

dull and dir­ty.


No an­gel

wit­hout wings

was seen around,

but I think

the an­gel was

qui­te close to us

in the form of

the friend­ly smile

lo­ving look

or gent­le touch

of an eve­ry­day an­gel.


(Hel­mi Yr­jä­nä)

26.5.2022

Tämä Jeesus, joka otettiin teidän luotanne taivaaseen, tulee kerran takaisin, samalla tavoin kuin näitte hänen taivaaseen menevän. Ap. t. 1:11

Viikon kysymys