SLOAN: C’mon people, let’s hug it out
What is the greatest physical expression of love, endearment, and affection known to mankind?
That’s easy. A big ol’ kiss, right? Wrong.
It’s hugs. We can live without kisses, but we can’t make it without someone – anyone – wrapping their arms around us and giving us a tight squeeze or a comforting pat on the back. We all need hugs.
Think about it for a moment. When you were at your lowest, feeling really down, were you longing for a peck on the cheek or lips or even a long, wet smackeroo? Nope. You wanted a hug.
When you’re reunited with someone you haven’t seen in a long time, especially a loved one, what’s the first thing you're going do? You’re gonna throw your arms around their neck and hold them as tight as you can. Watch any video of military men or women returning from deployment and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Hug first. The kisses can come later.
Think about those hugs from your mom or dad, your meemaw or pawpaw. They’re something special, aren’t they? How about the times your kids or grandkids come running up and throw their arms around your waist and don’t want to let go. Nothing better. I still get goose bumps remembering how my elementary school age kiddos would run out the schoolhouse door after the bell rang and then race to jump in my arms after finding me in a crowd of parents.
See someone hurting and don’t know what to say? Don’t worry, just give them a big hug. Sometimes words are unnecessary.
Have you got something to celebrate? Try celebrating alone. Whatever it is, the celebrating will be 100 times better if you’ve got someone to hug.
Medical professionals have touted the physical and emotional benefits of hugging for years. A newborn needs to have lots of physical contact to thrive. The elderly will wither away in loneliness without someone to give them an occasional hug. Hugs have no age limit. Race, nationality or gender does not matter because hugs do not discriminate.
Hugs are good. No, they are better than good. Hugs are the best.
So why all this talk about hugs and hugging? Today – June 29 – happens to be the National Hug Holiday. This is what you’ll read on the National Hug Holiday web page: “A hug can speak louder than words. A simple hug can change a person’s day, emotions and even their life. While everyone enjoys a hug, National Hug Holiday was created to remind people to give an extra special hug to someone who is having a bad day, is sick, lonely, sad or elderly. This simple act will bring love and warmth to a person in need.”
This world could stand a little more hugging. Strike that. This world needs a lot more hugging. So today, on this National Hug Holiday, here’s my challenge to all who are reading this:
Stop what you are doing. Get down off your soapbox, quit pointing your finger at others, and stop complaining. Now go out and hug somebody.
It doesn’t matter.
Just hug. It will make both you and them feel better.
Let’s start a hug revolution. Start today and don’t stop. Make it National Hug Week. Make June National Free Hug Month. Better yet, let’s make 2022 The Year of the Hug.
Is it crazy to think we could change the world one hug at a time? Maybe not, but it sure couldn’t hurt. C’mon people, let’s hug it out.
Contact Editor Bob Sloan at editor@florence newsjournal.com.