Touch the Future was formally chartered in 1994 but the need and inspiration emerged in 1981 when Pat, a female colleague training for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics survived an attempted stalker-rapist in her West Los Angeles apartment. For two and a half years I held the question; why would a man do such a thing? This question eventually led to a forensic physiatrist who specialized in treating extremely violent males. Paraphrasing he said, without exception the need for safe, affectionate touch, movement and play, what we generally call bonding, in these violent adult males had been betrayed very early in life by a significant female. Basic mothering had been deprived or neglected and as such normal brain development in these very young males had been twisted. The impact of parent and adult behaviors on child development struck home. It became crystal clear that child development is dependent on adult development. Caring about children is not enough and often too late. We must nurture, support, encourage and inform parents if we expect the children grow healthy, sane and whole.
Then came the home birth of my second son. When I looked into the eyes of my son, at home, the moment he was born, I was overwhelmed with two feelings First; I did not want anything to harm this miracle. Second; I realized that how I think, feel, speak and relate to ‘our’ world is the dominate model that would shaped his life. In other words, I represented the greatest source of potential harm.
This created in me a powerful desire and accompanying wakefulness to model the very best qualities I could be. At first I did this out of care and affection for him. Soon I realized that my care for him was a powerful catalyst for my own personal growth and development. The more I loved him the more aware and attentive I became to my own limitations and potential. His presence was like a light in a dark room. In that light I could see my habits, pettiness and opportunities for positive change more clearly.
Day by day, as he developed new skills and states of awareness, I was able to change in different ways to keep up. We grew, naturally in different ways, but together. He encouraged my best and I his.
This reciprocal dynamic continues today, never perfect, but always in that light of care, mutual trust and playful respect. This is what Touching the Future means to me.
The child, by their presence in our lives, awakens and reminds us that how we think, feel and behave – right now - matters. The way we act today creates our future, the future of our children and the world.
Touch the Future is intended to help each of us learn and grow all the days of our lives as nature designed. More than school, television and peers, our own physical, emotional and imaginative development shape the destiny of our children and all the children of all the species of the world. As we uplift, develop and expand our personal world by becoming more sensitive, more aware, attentive, flexible, trusting, playful and compassionate, the light we radiate touches and affects the universe. And that is very cool….meaning a tremendous responsibility and profound opportunity every moment of our life.
A tribute to Bonnie
Becoming a parent is a profound transformative process. Every step involves a sacred trinity, mother, child and father. I cannot begin to describe the impact, modeling and learning I experienced at the side of my then wife and partner. Daily I was astonished at the ease and playful way she related to children. Bonnie’s deep, spontaneous attunement and playful ease with the unborn and even the youngest of babies, something many have a hard time imagining, along with Joseph Chilton Pearce’s amazing insights into the entire process of human development are the two primary inspirations for the evolving journey I call Touch the Future.