National Hugging Day: Go and Hug Someone!
I come from a hugging family. We hug one another lots. So, I readily said “yes” when asked to write this blog. After all, I’m an experienced hugger and “hugee.”
No matter all my years of experience in hugs, I couldn’t resist the urge to Google up National Hug Day.
The website gives a straightforward and unsurprising definition of the day: “National Hugging Day is a heartwarming holiday that encourages people to express their affection and care for one another through the simple act of giving hugs. Hugs are a universal form of physical affection that can convey love, comfort and support.”
I could have stopped at the definition Google provided but no. I am always tempted to read the “People Also Ask …” entries. Often, I find the “also ask” informational and helpful. Other times, I find them plain amusing.
‘People Also Ask’
I hope you will find the following “People Also Ask” questions and responses helpful, humorous or both.
“What are the benefits of National Hug Day?” I’m trusting you can supply your responses based on your own experiences.
“What day of the year can you give people lots of hugs?” The answer provided is “National Hugging Day, January 21, 2024.” Really? If I believed this, I’d have to send out an alert to family and friends to expect very few hugs from me after the 2024 observance of National Hugging Day.
“Is it true humans need 7 hugs a day?” Family therapist Virginia Satir has this to say about how many hugs a day: “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hug a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
“How long should a hug last?” Experts agree a hug should last 5-10 seconds. First of all, who counted her/his hugs to figure this out? Secondly, hugs seem to spring from us spontaneously and in response to a particular situation. I bet both the hugger and the hugged know how long a hug should last given the situation. (I would like to meet the person who asked the question so I could give her/him an 11-second hug. Just for the fun of it.)
In spite of my tongue-in-cheek approach thus far, I do believe that hugs and their importance in our lives deserve acknowledgement and recognition. After all, as the website explained, “hugs are a universal physical form of affection that can convey love, comfort and support.”
Who among us doesn’t need to experience being loved, comforted and supported? Would that we could simultaneously and physically embrace – offer our love, comfort and support – to all of God’s creation. Who says we can’t? Who says we’re not already doing it on a daily basis?
Count the 5-10 second plus “hugs” we give by smiling at someone; marveling at the night sky; praying for loved ones and for ones we find difficult to love; working for peace in the world; refraining from negative comments; holding a door open for someone.
This list could go on and on. Perhaps recalling this Chinese proverb will renew our conviction that our hugs are more powerful than we imagine: “The flapping of the wings of a butterfly can be felt on the other side of the world.”
Bring on the hugs!
So – how many hugs are needed each day? I’d say as many as each of us can fit into our day. Bring on the hugs!
(I’ve been aware, from the time I was asked to do this blog until now, of the shadow side of hugging and being hugged. So many of our sisters and brothers around the globe strongly resist any physical forms of affection – like being hugged or hugging. I suspect these people have suffered abuses I can’t even imagine. May we find ways to love, comfort and support them in their healing journeys.)