Hugs not Hate

The hug seen ‘round the world.  Why are so many people reacting to the scene at a little league game the other day of a boy who was accidently plunked in his helmet calmly walking from first base to the pitching mound to hug the pitcher who was crying over his errant throw?

Because so many of us are starved for a glimpse of humanity no matter where it comes from; in this case, a child.

We all want to believe we are capable of doing what 12-year-old Isaiah “Zay” Jarvis of Poteau, Oklahoma did.   His act of forgiveness came from the heart, a gesture exhibiting empathy though both boys are on opposing teams.

A hug is a simple yet powerful gesture.  It conveys warmth, care and respect for another person.

Earlier this year CBS Sunday Morning aired a video about a man in Arkansas whose left side remained paralyzed after a stroke.  While he learned to get around life using just his right arm, the one thing that he craved but could not do was give two-arm hugs around his grandsons.  Then some industrious occupational therapy students at his daughter’s college developed a device called a hugger.  With it wrapped around his left wrist, he could use his right arm to move it around so that he could hug them.  The emotional moment was captured on this link.

Another heartwarming hug happened in a market between an 82-year-old widower depressed over the loss of his wife and a 4-year-old girl who demanded a hug from who she called an “old person.”  Thus began weekly visits between the two.  The man calls the girl an angel since she rescued him out of his gloomy state of mind.

Finally, watch this innocent story about two little girls—one black, one white—who viewed themselves as twins.  And when an older child pointed out to one of the girls why they couldn’t possibly be twins due to their different race, the child burst into tears then came up with an inspirational reply.

It would be simple-minded to believe that if people of different races, religions, ages, or politics would hug each other instead of yell at each other, the world’s troubles would go away.

It is simple, however, that a preschool child can find healing words that grown-ups can’t seem to conjure:   “We are twins because we share the same soul.”  May that be the credo we all listen to in our hearts.