Humans are emotional and our response to these emotions, in turn, makes us a part of the race. The way we react to a simple comforting touch or harsh physical pull and push is just one way to show our immediate response to the sense of touch. This response comes as naturally to us as the breath that we take every day. We get these responses to our stimuli so often that we almost take them for granted. As individuals, we develop our thoughts and opinions based on our responses to those stimuli, be it physical, emotional, or psychological. Our everyday correspondence is the result of that tactile build-up. This synthesis arises when we experience our ideas along with each moment of our interaction with anything living or non-living.
How wide or close is the space between that stimulus and corresponding response, makes up our opinions and reactions in our behaviours. Similarly, if we consider our interaction with plants, they are unable to react to us physically as per their basic characteristics. However, plants like Mimosa Pudica in a way defy the norm and manage to surprise even the most sceptical of us! Its characteristic of shutting its leaves the moment we touch them is a reflex that makes us realize that nature provides us with elements of surprise now and then. We just need to come closer to enhance our knowledge.
Apart from its response to our touch, this plant even shows its capacity to open and close at sunrise and sunset, respectively. Since there is such a unique quality of Mimosa with its reactions to the ability of touch, usually it becomes a perfect specimen for experimenting upon for the memory repetitions of its habit of closing. There is a mimosa pudica in all of us. It may be visible or hidden as a trait, but each one of us responds to the stimuli that we come across in our lives. We experience life through a variety of touches that we experience in our daily living. Our vision may overshadow our thoughts, but the touch makes us more receptive to creating our perceptions, actions, reactions, and psychology. Apart from psychology, there is a deep philosophy that makes us who we are because of the sense of touch we develop throughout our lifespan. A simple touch, pressure, or an innocent poke has the power to depict our emotions and perceptions about our relationships and personality.
Our response to stimuli is so intense that one simple touch can develop our sense of trust and connection by reducing the stress hormones (cortisol). A kiss, a hug, those back rubs, an unconscious gentle physical contact for twenty minutes, is enough to release oxytocin. This is the confirmation that pushes medical science to heighten the usage of touch with the new life that is born. More physical proximity with young ones has proven to develop their cognitive, motor skills and decrease chances of violence and aggression in their behaviour. In a way, the touching becomes more therapeutic, almost like a healing power for the productive development of humans. The intensity of the impact of this sense of touch can be similarly observed in plants like ‘touch me not’.
We, humans, are sometimes so selective that just like despite Mimosa Pudica’s major healing abilities to be antibacterial, anti-venomous, antifertility, antidepressant, and others, what strikes us as a normal human being is its ability to shy away and take time off from being a subject of touch. The same goes with our interaction with other humans as well. Every kind of interaction has its relevance and importance but unconsciously what deepens our connection with any stranger is the body response, the way we react to their physical proximity is what makes or breaks our connection with them. One physical connection can change our perception and response. The subject we behaving as a mimosa can always be in the focus of discussions as part of human response.
Our memory and response to it are also quite like the memory that is unique to mimosa that connects with human memory and its compliance. Where the plant has its memory to realize whether it needs to close its leaves as a defence mechanism, humans also react to any new entry with a sceptical approach. We initially close our barriers to new things to prevent ourselves from any prospective harm. However, like a mimosa, the continuous touching of its leaves, sometimes reduces its effort to utilize its energy to close its leaves once it finds the touch to be the same. Similarly, we also react in likewise manner when we are sure of a person or a situation on whom with time, we build our trust. We too tend to open our arms and develop acceptability to the known trustworthy individuals and situations. Such an interesting observation!
Then there is the element of surprise that brings out its intense action of closing away its petals making one curious further. In a way being shy and reclusive is more attractive. It is as if the plant wants to say that we can term it as a paradox. Just like the plant, we also believe in the forbidden fruit. The more something becomes unattainable for us, the more we try to capture it. It is the mystery behind that lures us to dive deeper. When someone tries to get away from us, that triggers our brain to know why! We want to unfold the person’s mystery so that there can be a conclusion for our self-gratification. It is our need to reach our sense of peace that we either totally reject their existence or run after them to know more and satisfy our curiosity about them. We can reserve or reject the power the other person holds over us just like the plant.
This touch-me-not like those who are unattainable to us, have the power to become our craving to know more about them! When Edward Thorndike explained in his Stimulus Response Theory, he believed strongly that all that we learn in our lives is a result of the connection between the stimulus and the response. He in a way opens our mind to the idea about why we believe what we believe in and how we behave because of our beliefs.
Even though psychology may differ and point out that there are other factors apart from the response and its stimulus, but we cannot ignore them because how we react to things in our everyday life shows a strong reflection of these two in our behaviours and the reasons behind! The importance of stimuli just like in Mimosa Pudica is remarkably like human relationships to their reactions to a sense of touch. This may have become a controversial topic to discuss with time because of the development of various other factors, but our proximity to emotions and behavioural pattern relies heavily on how we as individuals respond to the other when in close physical proximity compared to our reactions when far away. Therefore, our sense of stimuli pulls our gears to react to others in a unique way, human or otherwise!