This I Believe

Annie - Boalsburg Pike, Pennsylvania
Entered on November 19, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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A Petition for More Hugging

I had the greatest near-death experience the other day. It lasted only thirty seconds, but I believe in it and recommend it to everybody. I was talking to my buddy Shawn in seventh period when all of a sudden two five-foot-long arms attacked me from behind – in a rib-crushing embrace. The two sets of skinny biceps and triceps then turned me around for a proper hug, squashing my nose against a bony shoulder and enveloping me in gentle wafts of Abercrombie and Fitch cologne. “Hey Annie, how was your day?” my gigantic friend Michael chuckled. “It was goooooood,” I smile, face aglow with delight, eyes twinkling with a particular gladness that only a wholesome, loving connection can bring me.

I believe in the power of those thirty seconds. I believe that those hugs bursting with love and life are essential, healthy, and absolutely wonderful. I hunger for the human connection they invite with anyone. I eagerly await their occurrence with little, exicted butterflies in my tummy. I have them right now, actually, simply by thinking about that circle of care, exuberance, and ultimate joy that is expressed in a hug.

Hugs always embody my favorite part of the day – the time when I explode from my normal stature into a giddy embrace. This is how I tell my friends how amazingly great they are – this is how I feel how much they love me and my bounciness.

Hugs are an honored and anticipated part of my life. They are an essential nutrient just like zinc and potassium. They’re an essential building block of life just like hemoglobin and peptide bonds.

In all seriousness, I radiate love and respect for the power of a real, solid hug – much the same way most people do for adorable old gentlemen and ladies who did great things in their time but can’t remember any of them now. The power of a solid hug is very real to me. A dank, cloudy day consisting of a math test, two lab reports for biology, an offensive freshman in the hallway and a patronizing senior in gym is only bearable if it ends with a huge group hug – and maybe an additional surprise attack from Michael, Shawn tagging along behind with a kiss on the cheek for me. The first day of March that pampers me with 65 degrees can only be fully appreciated if I can tell my friend Mesa how exuberantly happy I am and how glad I am that she is my friend by presenting her with a big squeeze and flashing a smile while her dark, half-Japanese hair is tackled by my brown curls.

I love to be happy – I believe in how happy hugs make me. I believe in smothering the good things in life with kisses and candy, I believe in buying the world a Coke, and I believe in a loving bear-of-a hug every day of the week. These are the things that matter.