The challenge of our lives lies in the multi-dimensional aspect of our human nature with its conflicting needs, desires and passions. It is the wise person who chooses the rewards of connectedness over the bitter fruit of the futile quest for power and independence.

Physicians have seen the power of connectedness in babies. Infants who received plenty of human touch grow better and act better; their emotional and intellectual growth is stimulated by skin-to-skin contact with others. Premature babies gain 47 percent more weight when their care includes more frequent touching. Adults, too, need human contact. Relationship well-being depends upon touch. In my own experience, the rituals of touch enrich my relationship with my husband. We've been married 44 years, and we still reach out to hold hands during prayer, whenever I exit the car, or when we walk together.

In my youth, the supposedly powerful solitary figure on the billboard might have appealed to me. No more. No matter how much our pride - particularly in our youth - would have it otherwise, nature dictates that dependency is an inherent, integral part of our existence.

Nature did not equip human females like she did the mighty female grizzly bear, which truly is powerful and independent. The mother bear is fully capable of raising her cub alone without any help, least of all from the male bear.

The human female, on the other hand, is eminently vulnerable, and the development of the human child takes years longer than in any other species.

With that in mind, we might recall exactly what becomes of the adorable, cuddly, playful bear cubs. The powerful, independent she-bear mother, in her solitary way, produces very deadly predators.

*Originally posted June 6, 2006


Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse is a Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's   Beverly LaHaye Institute. She writes about contemporary issues that affect women, family, religion and culture in her regular column "Dot.Commentary."