"Hugs are what I miss the most."
A deep sigh followed by a painful silence. Not knowing the frail little lady in front of me, I was not sure what to say. Her skin at 85 was nearly transluscent and it looked like a hug might break a bone.
"How long has it been?" I asked.
"Thirty eight years next week, two days before our anniversary."
A hug would be about perfect right now, wouldn't it? So what's the problem? As Chris Thompson, former Saginaw News (MI) columnist states on http://NationalHuggingDay.com, "part of the problem huggers face is this guarded age where hugs are easily misinterpreted and subject to a leering look or a lawsuit". Between that and all the fear over viruses and super bugs, hugs are taking a beating.
National Hugging Day
According to Wikipedia, Kevin Zaborney, a pastor in Michigan is credited for creating the National Hugging Day in 1986. Zaborney calculated that January 21 was exactly midway between Christmas and Easter and was therefore when a hug would be most appreciated.
He wanted Americans to get more comfortable with being publically supportive and affectionate of one another and hoped a National Day of Hugging would change that. While the holiday is not officially noticed by the government, it is picking up more momentum every year.
National Hugging Day has it's own website with more great news about the health benefits of hugging as well as Celebrity Hugging Allstars.
As Thompson says, "NATIONAL HUGGING DAY is a different form of sharing. We've got more than our quota of whiners and far too few huggers these days. Consider hugging as non-sexual, like a handshake or a high-five. Such personal contact makes you feel good. That's what NATIONAL HUGGING DAY is all about."
So what's a hugger to do with all of the health concerns, safety concerns and arms not getting near enough bear hugs?
Here is a 7 step action plan to celebrate this National Hugging Day
National Hugging Day Action Plan
1. Calibrating Your Hug Meter: Inside every person you see, behind every face that comes into your world is someone who needs a hug. You might not be the one to deliver it and that is fine. Don't get ahead of me. Your challenge is to acknowledge with a mindful thought the following: "This person, just like me, needs a hug every now and then."
2. Honor The Non Huggers: It's tough on a hugger these days, I'll tell you! With all the fear of viruses and super bugs, some don't consider it extreme to hand you a sanitizer in a foil envelope before you shake hands. But. There is good news. There are a lot of huggers out there and they need to find each other. When you repeat the above statement for everyone you see, huggers and non huggers alike, you project your love of hugging into the environment around you.