But we have a wee problem in our culture…
Often, we are fearful that we will appear ridiculous if we ask for a hug or worse go hug someone for no apparent reason (the key here is no APPARENT reason). But put a puppy, kitten or baby in front of us and we will coo, touch, hug, pat and kiss those little critters like we want to eat them up. And they are delicious! No man, woman or child can stop themselves from such marvelous foolishness, right?
My former student’s words have come to me often when I’m on a crowded street and my eyes fall upon a mutt coming my way. I want to lunge toward him and pat his head. But now, I not only pat the dog, but I turn to the person at the other end of the leash, and look them in the eye, talk with them (and yes, if they are amenable to my forward ways, I’ll hug them) just so they know that I’ve seen THEM and not just their companion. (It’s embarrassing that I know all the names of the dogs in the dog park, and few of their “owners”…)
Hugs are a wonderful way to express our love for humanity, even if it is simply one person at a time. The opportunities to reach out and touch someone are everywhere around us. We are all desperately wanting to ask for a hug or for someone to notice that we are here and breathing on this planet. So why not offer the hug that you want. There is someone within 10 feet of you right now who is feeling the way you are (or worse), so go give a hug away. You’ll not only be a giver, you’ll be a recipient. Sounds like a win-win, huh? I dare you. Now go!