The power of the kiss

Recently, the media have filled many of their pages to the point of exhaustion about the fact and the reactions – the vast majority of them condemnatory – of a famous kiss given by a high-ranking sports leader to a prominent sportswoman. The notorious fiasco immediately took on dimensions as unusual as they were unforeseeable. And I suspect that its knock-on effects will continue to surprise us for some time to come. I am not going to focus my reflections on such an unfortunate event. But I am going to take advantage of this extremely important gesture to highlight the truth of the title of this article: Every kiss has “power”. Even the Judas kiss.

A recent study on marriage shows that couples who regularly give each other a kiss or hug before leaving home in the morning and another hug or kiss in the evening, before retiring, fare better than those who let this gesture happen or not due to the inertia of momentary spontaneity or humour.

The study underlines that even if this kiss is done in a distracted, hurried, mechanical or morally obliged way, it performs an important function, namely it speaks of fidelity and commitment beyond the ups and downs of emotions, distractions and fatigue of a particular day.

It is a ritual, an act that is performed regularly to express precisely what our minds and lips cannot keep repeating that deep within us remains faithful and steadfast, even in those moments when we are too tired, too distracted, too angry, too bored, too restless, too preoccupied with ourselves… to be as attentive and present as we should be. The ritual of a kiss or embrace ensures that we continue to love each other and remain connected, despite the inevitable changes and pressures that life’s circumstances bring.

This is often misunderstood today. An over-idealisation of love and family often shatters reality. A widespread opinion would have us believe that love should always be romantic, exciting and interesting, and that a lack of emotional passion is a sign that something is wrong.

But it is fidelity to the routine of everyday life, not the honeymoon, that ultimately sustains a marriage. It is fidelity to simply “being” at home, at the weekend meal, in the “dead” times, spent quickly and absent-mindedly that sustains a family. Much more than the great celebration or the splendid banquet, which are also necessary at the time.

Repetition, said Soren Kierkegaard, is our daily bread. But let us not forget either that, with repetition, each lie becomes an irreversible fact on which other lies are built. The kiss and the embrace must be, even if distracted or semi-absent, clean.


Juan Carlos cmf

(FOTO: Etienne Girardet)


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