I know you could use a hug right about now


I know what you need right now. You need a hug.

I mean, who doesn’t like a good hug? OK, I know there are some people who do not like to be touched. I get that. But most folks like a little comforting contact.

I am a hugger raised in a family of huggers. My parents are from the South, where hugging is almost as popular as fire and brimstone religion. I have been hugging people and have been hugged for as long as I can remember.

Things can be a little tricky for us huggers in today’s society. I do understand people have personal boundaries and I respect that. But if you come into my hugging zone and I know you and that you are OK with a hug, you will probably get one.

I think we need more real huggers in the world, and not those side huggers. That is not really a hug. A half-hearted hug is no hug at all in my book. Give me a full-on hug or don’t hug me.

My dad was an elementary school principal and a well-known hugging machine. He would hug kids, teachers and parents.

My family were not only famous huggers, we are also kissers and people who say I love you – a lot. My mom always said that it feels great when someone tells you they love you, so when you feel it say it. That means even if it is 50 times a day. She believed that loving someone is so special that hearing it will never get old.

I can tell you that I wasn’t so sure as a teenager, but I am sure now. She was totally right.

I tell me wife I love her often. I tell my kids I love them every time we talk, and more than once. I say it to my brothers and sister and my father. I also say it to my friends – yes, even my male friends.

My best buddy, who is from Minnesota, owns his own business and competes in Iron Man events. We were like brothers from the beginning and we have long told each other “I love you, buddy” at the end of a visit or conversation. If you have a problem with adult friends expressing love for each other, that is clearly your problem and I feel a little sorry for you.

Hey, it’s nothing a good hug wouldn’t help.

I respect that not everyone is as hug happy as I am, and I will never force a hug on anyone. And, again, in today’s society we have to be especially careful about invading anyone’s personal space. Message received.

If my dad was working at a school today, he would have to keep his hands to himself. That’s just the way it is, and I get it. Trust me, I don’t go around hugging my co-workers.

I know plenty of people who grew up in homes where their parents did not express much love, either verbally or physically. Some of them seem to be starved for some emotional connection to their parents, even as adults. It’s pretty sad.

It is never too late to tell your loved ones that you love them and give them a hug if the moment is right. With the way the world is right now – filled with anger and divisiveness and hate – we could use hugs now more than ever.

Is that too simplistic? Maybe. But sometimes a simple gesture can mean so much.