Wednesday, January 23, 2013

SEA OTTERS, HUMANS, AND HOLDING HANDS


A few weeks ago I posted a blog bit titled ANCHORS. I talked about being adrift and wondering what you, my readers held as your anchor. Well so far after the fact, that probably nobody but me saw it ‘luckymama13’ commented:

     ‘Did you know that sea otters hold hands while they sleep so as not to drift apart?

      Anchors can and are in many forms.

      I love you.’

Today, I reply to luckymama13 ~ Thank you for that information. I love you too, honey. (For those of you who don’t know, lunckmama13 is my daughter.)

All that aside, I decided to do some research on Sea Otters. I found that it’s true; they do hold hands when they sleep. Now I don’t suppose a sea otter has ever explained exactly why they are holding hands to a research scientist (file this under things like – all dogs are color blind – how do they know that?), but they do sleep in ‘rafts’, large groups of up to 100 otters floating on the sea often holding hands. Sometimes they even wrap themselves in kelp. The most logical explanation for either of these actions is to anchor themselves to the group.



Quite a few of my readers replied to my question about what is their anchor, but stating it is their family. It makes me wonder why, as a whole, people are not concerned about standing together.

In this modern world we face a lot of tough issues. Of course, we don’t all agree how to handle all of these issues, but if we could at least stand together and try to find a viable solution, instead of insisting ours is the only way, don’t you think we would have a better chance. If we could open our hearts and minds to truly looking for solutions rather than resorting to ambiguous attacks on the opposing viewpoints, wouldn’t we at least be starting a dialogue that just might lead to some productivity? If we kept our emotions in check and looked at things logically, systematically ruling out the impossible and impractical and forging communication based on facts, shouldn't we have a more sturdy platform on which to agree.

As a woman, I’m all about ‘holding hands’. We hold the hands of our children to protect them keep them close and help them to feel loved and safe. We hold hands to show affection to others and provide a real physical connection. We hold hands to share grief, show sympathy, empathy and solidarity. And finally maybe we should hold hands so as not to drift away from the most basic needs, wants and desires of the human race – an opportunity to feel love.

In preparing this post, I started to think; what would it be like if during the most contested debate the two parties were required to face each other and hold hands while expressing their views. Do you suppose it would make a difference? Would they act more civil to the party they oppose? Would they take more care and time to explain their position? Would they take more time and care to truly listen to their opponent? Or would it become a ‘hand squeezing’ contest to see who could inflict more pain?

Just a thought.

21 comments:

  1. I like to think they would laugh at the silliness, but touch does make us remember - we're both human beings. If they did try to inflict more pain on each other, then they really don't want to solve anything.

    Touch and holding hands is a way we show we care. Of course with otters, I can see more practical reasons for holding on.

    Interesting post, farawayeyes. I like that your daughter responded so well to your questions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. I love your daughter's comments. That was awesome. I also had a vision of my volatile teen sons having to hold hands when working through a conflict. Um . . .

    Good thing they're friends now. lol

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  3. This goes back to something I heard on NPR a while back about the nasty division between our two political parties here in the US. It used to be that all the politicians lived in DC. Their kids all went to school together, they saw each other in the same restaurants and shops and parties. They were neighbors. And while there was still a lot of arguing they actually compromised and got things done. Now of course, hardly any of them live in DC. They just fly in or drive from some posh suburb. They aren't neighbors and they don't care about getting along with one another because they won't be spending any time together. And apparently that means they don't have to care much about solving problems, just winning the next election and holding onto their posh little lives.

    I think your idea would work but I don't think the politicians would go along with it. They're too afraid.

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  4. I didn't know that about sea otters. That's so cute.

    And I'm laughing at the image of world leaders (or whoever) holding hands while they try to work out their issues. It would be an interesting experiment. Like what D.G. said, touch reminds us that we're human.

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  5. I would watch a debate if they had to hold hands!
    And learned something about sea otters today.

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  6. So many of us are so isolated these days--especially in urban areas like where I live. Without family and friends nearby I sometimes feel as though my wife and I live on a desert island except she leaves for the mainland most days while I sit at home and communicate with people I'll probably never see.

    Maybe I need to get out more.

    By the way, is today Otter Day? This is the second post I've read that talked about otters.

    Yeah, I definitely need to get out more.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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  7. FAE ~
    You otter write the president with that hand-holding suggestion.

    That picture was too cute!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  8. That's the problem, though, isn't it? It seems like a complete no-brainer to make decisions (particularly policy decisions) based on logic, but a significant proportion of the population is philosophically opposed to that.

    People are quick to say that all politicians are the same, but there's a real divide between the side that wants to invest in science and the side that wants to govern but what makes them feel warm and fuzzy.

    It can be scary to think about.

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  9. P.S.

    It is nice to imagine that the otters at cuddling, isn't it?

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  10. What a terrific post! I love the tidbit about otters holding hands, and the way you tied it in with people resolving differences. It'd be something else to see politicians holding hands while debating, but I think it'd a pretty safe bet that's one sight we'll never see.

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  11. D.G. - Being reminded of our humanity and a need to care are good things.

    Donna - This concept does create some interesting images.

    MS - Interesting thought, being too afraid.

    MJ - And as humans we DO need that human contact.

    Alex - I bet a lot of people would 'pay money' to see that.

    Lee - You might never see us, but we do manage to 'touch' each other in different ways.

    'Otrer Day'? Ha! Please give me a link to the other otter post. I would love to see it. They are so cute and pretty smart too.

    STMc - I'll get right on that. I'm sure he'll jump at the chance, but probably for all the wrong reasons.

    Otters are pretty dang cute and this pic of them holding hands really takes the kelp.

    Searching - Scary doesn't begin to describe it.

    Susan - I'm sure you're right, but it's a nice thought anyway or at least creates a LOL image.

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  12. Hand holding is a powerful thing, especially in a society that's become more and more afraid of human contact. It really does make you wonder if people are becoming more distant from one another because of that. Not that we all need to be holding each other's hands all the time, but I imagine it'd be harder to blow someone off if they took your hand and asked you for help as opposed to just asking for help.

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  13. Bear Boys - Interesting point about the 'fear of human contact'. I'm not necessarily advocating handing holding all of the time, in a 'kymbaya' sort of communal love fest, but your notion of really reaching out to someone and touching them, whether a sincere plea for help or a willingness to serve is an excellent example of what we may be lacking. Thanks guys!

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  14. Oh I love sea otters! I used to work on a farm and there were river otters there (or some kind of beaver) but it looked like an otter. I guess I'll never know. But they were playful and fun to watch. Just happily going about their business.

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  15. Hi, Great post. I found you through the blog hop. Now following you.Please stop by and say hi when you get a chance.
    Be sure and check out my new Blog Hop that we just started, It's Weekly Goals Link Up. It's a great way to stay on track. Have a great day. :) Here's the link in case you want to check it out.
    http://lenettacarnes.blogspot.com/2013/01/weekly-goals-linkup-3.html Thanks again
    Lenetta

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  16. Ha-Ha! "Got it."

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  17. Aw! That's so cute with the sea otters. I didn't know that either. I could see the world's leaders, unfortuantely, inflicting more pain than anything else. But you're right, we shouldn't forget that we need eachother.

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  18. I love that picture and the fact that sea otters hold hands.

    I still hold my mom's hand when we go out, even though I'm all "grown up" and have kids of my own. We take turns holding each other up. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

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  19. Glad I could be of use :) leave it to me to know all sorts of odd random facts about our wonderful animal kingdom.

    And I think we should all hold hands, we are in such a hurry to not hold hands that we miss all the wonderful moments of holding hands.

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  20. I would like to see that happen...if only one time!

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  21. We need to duct tape politicians' hands together during session. That would be awesome.

    Love sea otters!!!!

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