This I Believe

Arianna - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 18, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in the power of a hug. A gentle embrace of a comforting hug can soothe all fears and calm any storm. The simple gesture can represent reassurance of a better outcome or even a notion of happiness. A hug is a symbol of love and affection that a mom offers when the world seems to beat down on you. A hug is a symbol of acceptance from your friends, after a vicious argument. Hugs can patch over any uncertainties or insecurities, disappointments or failures. Hugs have the power to pick you up, brush the dirt off your knees, and prepare you to face the world again.

I was sixteen and the stereotypical new driver, careless and fearless. I pushed my SUV to the limit, underestimating its mighty strength. Turns were taken full velocity and speed limits were just mere suggestions. I was unstoppable, or so I thought. My new freedom, that I was taking advantage of to its fullest, left me in a pile of metal, glass, and ruble one Saturday morning. From the violent collapse of being thrown upside down to the after shock of making the dreadful call home, it felt as if the world passed me by as I stood there spitting out glass pieces in the gravel.

My hands were shaking, my mind was racing, and a look of dread was smearing across my life-less expression. As I stood there with warm tears streaming down my face, a blurry vision of a “father-like” figure slowly approached me. In my most vulnerable moment of defeat, the stranger gently wrapped me in his arms as I cried. The man offered me more than a mere hug, rather sturdy ground to support my weary body. He gave me strength, power and assurance that everything will be okay.

For the man that offered me the gesture that one Saturday morning, I will never know his name, his goals, or even his history. I will never be able to pick out his face in the supermarket or on the street corner. I will never be able to tell him thank you for the simplicity of his embrace that meant more power than anything else in the world to me. For this man showed me more than a token of compassion but the power behind a hug.