A hug is such a strange thing. We feel all weird when we see someone heading towards us with those arms out stretched. Sometimes we bob and weave to avoid it. Sometimes we turn and shoulder the hugger so we can minimize the impact. The strange thing is that people enjoy hugs and I think I have worked out why.
A hug expresses a huge amount to those being hugged. It expresses love, concern, and care. It’s a great way of saying; "Don’t worry". It says "I’m here". It says, "All will be ok!". It says, "You are forgiven". It says, "You are important and special". It says that I have seen you, you are noticed. It says it’s ok to cry. It says a big bold hello and is a far bigger hello than a handshake. It says we are together in this.
Whatever the reason for a hug they always seem good. Afterwards we feel good. We feel like a million dollars. You feel like you had a really good cup of coffee. Yet for some reason we don’t see many people hugging. It’s like hugs are reserved for special occasions or for when the family is around. Without hugs we send a message of…. Well none of the above. There is just nothing. I think the world would be a better place if people got more hugs. There are people out there who are hug…less. It’s sad but true. Imagine a life without a hug. Imagine having a childhood without hugs.I propose we change the world through hugs!
I propose that everyone deserves a hug!
So here is the big hug challenge. If you are not up to it. Well you better stop reading now. This is going to blow your mind and make you a professional Hug…omaniac.
Step 1 Start small. Hug your pillow, dog and cat. Something to practice on. If you survive without being bitten or scratched go to step 2. If not….still go to step 2.
Step 2 Clean up. Pointless being a hugger if you stink, have bad breath, sweat a lot or are generally repulsive. Have a shower and a shave and get ready for the big time. Now for step 3.
Step 3 Time for humans. Try someone close. A family member, husband, wife, children, mother-in-law.
Step 4 Your family is not getting enough hugs, repeat step 3 a few times. Especially for the children. Don’t take no from teenagers. Give them a hug even if they grunt in offense.
Step 5 Time to try a few people who are a bit more unknown. Keep hugging the family but now extend your hugging to those who are not family. Invite some friends for a braai and then hug them. Maybe when you are next at church. Hug them. Heck if you know their name give them a hug. Why? Well, why the not!
Step 6 By now you think you are a pro hugger but the bad news is you still have a way to go before you get really good at this thing called hugging. Now you need to hug a stranger. Yip, that’s what I said, a stranger. Hug someone who you have met for the first time. Give them a big ‘ol squeeze. I bet they will enjoy it and even if they don’t, so what. They deserve it anyway. Give them another hug for good measure. Try the cashier at the store. Try the person getting in a car next to you. Strangers are just friends you have not met yet. So it’s time you met them with a big hug.
Step 7 There will be a bunch of people you won’t have hugged up to now. Let’s call them the unhuggables. They will be people that for some reason you feel they should not get your hug. Well todays your day to deal with that. Maybe it’s someone who made you Angry. Maybe they did something to you. Maybe they are a different race, religion, culture, age, attitude, dress, gender. Maybe they're Boss or someone you feel is too below you. Whatever the reason it’s time you got over it. Give them a hug. Give the car guard a hug. Hug a beggar. Hug a policeman. Hug the petrol attendant. Hug someone from a different political party. Hug your teacher. Hug the person who you have been avoiding.
Step 8 Now repeat it all over and over until it’s the way you are. Be the best hugger. See if you can hug more than 10 people a day. Set yourself goals. Hug 20 a day. Heck, Hug a 100 people in a day. I dare you!
If you have made it through this you have done well. You have said goodbye to your issues with people and have said hello to a life of a hug..omaniac.