This I Believe

A - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on December 12, 2007

A Hug Can Change The World

I received a phone call last week that I will remember for the rest of my life. The call was from a person I have never met or talked to before in my life. She was a friend of a friend, and what she had to say would change my life. A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my friend Michael. He was really upset. A close personal friend of his who I will call “Sarah” had tried to commit suicide twice in the same day. Michael could not figure out why she would want to kill herself. He asked me for my advice. I told him not to worry about why she was trying to commit suicide, but the most important thing was to make sure that she did not succeed. I told him that hugs always work. I said give her lots of hugs and just be there for her. Let her know that you are there, but don’t force her to talk about it. If you want to “talk” to her, then tell her through hugs. Hugs say more than words ever can.

A couple of weeks had passed, and I hadn’t really thought about our conversation. Then one day, I received “the call.” It was Sarah. After introducing herself, her first words were, “You saved my life.” We talked for a couple of hours that day. She told me that without the support she received from Michael that she would not be alive today. She said that hugs had saved her life. She said she wanted to thank me for what I had told Michael and how much it meant to her. She said that without the hugs she received form him, she didn’t know what she would have done.

This really got to me. All it takes is a single hug. Physical contact between two people is special. More is communicated through a hug, than can be said in a million words. Now, when I see a friend having a bad day, I think about Sarah and give them a hug. A simple hug is all that is needed to let them know that someone does care about them, and that they are loved. Hugs remind people that they are human. Sometimes we don’t realize just how much physical contact means to us as human beings. It is more of a connection of souls than of just bodies.

Sarah helped me realize how much hugs mean to me. When I receive a hug I don’t take it for granted. I cherish every hug I receive and think about how amazing such a small gesture can be, and how literally a hug can change the world and make a huge difference in someone’s life.