The ambulance man touched her cheek with the back of his hand. She was grateful for that sign of human comfort, even if the thought occurred to her that it was probably against the rules. No doubt these paramedics, these specialists in human suffering, were cautioned not to touch their passengers unnecessarily, for fear of all sorts of accusations. It was the same with teachers, who were warned against comforting children lest similar accusations arise. Caroline reflected: how strange, how completely bizarre that we should seek to prohibit the normal human response to pain and distress. Of course we should embrace people who need embracing; of course we should hold their hands and seek to comfort them; of course we should.
~ Alexander McCall Smith, A Conspiracy of Friends
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