Friday, October 15, 2010


While a shake hand is the most common form of greeting, it is the HUG that conveys a myriad of emotions without a word being spoken simply because it is a Heavenly Universal Gift. The beauty of a hug is that it transcends emotions, genders, age barriers and cultures. Obviously it has universal acceptance, can be spontaneously exchanged and enriches both parties simultaneously. A hug also has the extraordinary powers to encourage, console, rejoice, comfort and be ecstatic.

When we are overjoyed and want to share our joy our most spontaneous gesture is to hug the nearest friendly person around. This is not just a ritual but a pressing need for both companionship and recognition. The most visible sign of this behavior is on the sports field. When a goal is scored or a point is scored or when a team has won the members, the coaches and support staffs all exude in the joy of their victory and hug each other. A hug is also most noticeable when we are meeting up with friends and relatives after a very long time. See the liberal use of hugs at bus stations train stations and airports. 

Ironically a hug is also the most commonly used gesture on solemn sorrowful moments and to convey sympathy. In fact a hug conveys empathy as no other form of expression. No words are really needed to express feelings of pain, condolence, understanding and oneness as a hug. At funerals a hug is the most universal gesture that packs so much of empathy that the grieved can actual mitigate their sorrow by passing it on in small doses to each one of those present through a hug. Something similar happens when we hug someone who has just been given some terrible news like the loss of a loved one or the confirmation of a debilitating disease. A hug is also confirmation of acceptance of the persons failures, an expression of support no matter what and an epitome of understanding that a failure would not severe a relationship. The team member who misses a free throw, a penalty taker who misses his shot, an athlete who misses the win by a whisker or a favorite team that disappoints are consoled and an expression of solidarity confirmed by a hug by all the team members and fans.  

In normal times a HUG is the best expression of intimacy, closeness, warmth and caring. Hugging a child is perhaps a blissful moment in any one’s life for there is spontaneity and pure delight in that expression. The real beauty of a hug lies in the fact that the HUG leverages the power of personal touch both literally and figuratively to reach to the heart. Hugging your pet, perhaps a dog and seeing it wagging its tail incessantly is a moment of pure bliss as much as hugging your parents or your child for in those moments you are actually HUGGING LIFE ( Love Inside Finding Expression click here to read more on LIFE) and sharing the one of nature’s precious Heavenly Universal Gift. 

Action Points:
  1. Touch is one human expression that is never really used because of cultural differences as well as inhibition. A handshake and a hug are two common universally accepted means of literally and figuratively reaching out to a person. When the need arises, use these expressions to offer support, understanding and concern. Remember the lonely people in old age homes and our own family members who crave for the warmth of a touch.
  2. Look at equivalent expressions of a hug to understand the power of touch. Chest butting, high fives, back slapping and a kiss are those that come to mind immediately. Use these variations appropriately to touch the lives of all those whom you in contact with, for the world can do with a little more warmth and a touch of love.

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