A hug delights and warms and charms,
that must be why God gave us arms.
I just found out that this is National Hug Week! (Who makes up these things anyway?) So, have you hugged your kids today? Your spouse? A friend? How about yourself? You deserve a hug, too! I love it when I pick up my kids from summer camp and their little friends give me hugs. I can barely get my teenagers to wave at me as they head out the door, so I know I’d better enjoy these little preschool hugs while I can! Kids are always great huggers, even if their hugs smear a little jam on your shirt.
Unfortunately, as a society, we don’t hug as much as we used to. More often than not, we’re connecting with each other through e-mail or cell phone. Have you ever received an e-mail from a friend that said, “You’ve just been hugged!”? It just doesn’t feel as good as a real hug! It’s easier, of course, to hug our children, but even they aren’t getting as much affection as previous generations. Author Rae Pica writes in the article, “Skinship: Better Bonding with Baby,” “Where infants are concerned, America is considered a ‘low-touch’ society. In many other cultures, babies are held for hours, stroked when in need of soothing, and carried close to the bodies of their mothers. In ours, babies spend lengthy periods alone in cribs; we fear that unless they’re allowed to ‘self-soothe,’ they’ll be spoiled and grow up dependent; and, though we may carry our infants, they’re more likely to be ‘containerized’ than carried body to body.”
When I was a teenager, I read a book called Love by Leo Buscaglia, who was often called “The Love Doctor.” He wrote, “We are constantly moving away from ourselves and others. The scene seems to be how far away you can get from another person, not how close you can get to them. I’m all for going back to the old-fashioned thing of touching people.” Although he wrote these words back in 1972, I don’t think we’ve gotten any “huggier” today. And I have a feeling that Dr. Buscaglia wouldn’t be too pleased with our “electronic hugs.”
So, why don’t you do something really radical today and give someone a hug? Start with your kids and your spouse. Then really stretch yourself and give a hug to a friend or a new acquaintance. Chances are, you’re going to make that person feel really loved. But, even more shockingly, you might find that you needed that hug, too! The old saying is true: You can't give a hug without getting a hug. Have you hugged someone today?
affection, babies, children, hugs, Leo Buscaglia, love, Rae Pica