I believe in the power of a good hug. This sounds outrageously cliché, but some days, a hug is the only solution to all your problems. And I’m not talking about one of those ‘pat on the back’ type of hugs either, I’m talking about a ‘squeeze until you can hardly breathe’ kind of hug. There’s an overwhelming feeling of comfort that accompanies a good hug. As if by squeezing somebody else, you can squeeze all your worries away.
I’m sure everybody has had one of those days when it seems like their world is completely shattered. It feels like nobody could possibly understand everything you’re going through. Then along comes a good friend who wraps their arms around you, gives you a shoulder to lean on, and tells you everything is going to be fine ─ suddenly, the world doesn’t seem as hopeless. I believe that a hug is the easiest way to show compassion and sincerity, and by simply hugging somebody, you can turn their whole day around.
I had never really valued the power of hug until last year, when a guest speaker, Minniejean Brown Trickey, came to my school and opened up my eyes. When the historic Brown vs. Board of Education was issued, Minniejean Brown Trickey and eight other black students were the first to be registered at a previously all white high school. During her time at Little Rock Central High, Minniejean experienced physical and mental abuse on a daily basis. Yet, as she stood on the podium telling her heart wrenching life story, she also shared with us one of her daily rituals that help her to remain positive. She has a rule for herself to get at least five hugs a day. After she said that, one student after another rose their seat, ran to the stage, and smothered her with hugs. I was literally dumbfounded and I realized that if a hug from a perfect stranger can heal scars as deep as Minnejean’s, then I must be underestimating it.
I believe that one of the best things about a hug is that it doesn’t only feel great when you get one, but it feels great to give one too. I believe it has something to do with connecting with somebody else, not only by physical touch, but by the emotional baggage that is released in every hug. The feeling of comfort from a hug can be traced back to our childhoods. Every time a child falls down, his first instinct is to run into the arms of his parents. For some odd reason, a hug can calm even a screaming child. Each hug is saying: “Don’t worry because everything is going to work out”. That feeling of security digs deep down into our bodies and sometimes, if you’re lucky enough, you can feel a tiny tingle down your spine. By embracing each hug given to you, and giving as many in return, we can all spread a little bit of happiness.
This I believe.