Archive for the ‘Hugs’ Category

Service of Hugs: A Girl Scouts Warning

Thursday, January 4th, 2018


You may have missed, as I did, this story in November when the Girl Scouts of the USA warned parents about urging their kids to hug relatives over the holidays. I looked it up after hearing Rob Astorino mention it on the Len Berman Morning Show on WOR 710 radio where he was a guest host between Christmas and New Year’s. The holidays are long gone but I thought that the topic was worth discussion because I’m clearly missing something.


Katie Kindelan, on, quoted a post on the Girl Scouts website: “Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she ‘owes’ another person any type of physical affection when they have bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life.”

I disliked groping grownups who stuck their faces in mine when I was a kid and have always waited for a baby or child to approach me with a hug and if they do, I’m happy. If they don’t, I get it. I can’t recall any parent telling their child that they owe me a hug because I dropped by or gave them a gift. Most kids were taught to say “thank you,” but if distracted or disappointed, sometimes they needed to be reminded. Hugs? No.


Since the Dark Ages there’s been the dynamic between men and women–and countless movies and novels about the inflated expectations of some men after they’ve paid for a meal–but I see no connection between this and a child’s hug, except for using the word “owe.”

That’s the operative word. Do people really tell their children or their charges that a hug is owed? Do parents force children to hug others? If so, do you think a child would translate hugging grandpa or Uncle Frank to leaping into the arms of a boss who gave them a raise or bonus or into the bed of a date after a restaurant meal once they are grown?


Service of Hugs

Friday, November 25th, 2011


I was crossing the street on Park Avenue and 72nd  in Manhattan when I heard persistent honking. Next thing, a very tall driver leapt out of his blue van, marked “Hamilton Air,” that was stopped for the light. He ran toward an elderly man who was also crossing the street. The driver wrapped his friend in his arms giving the diminutive old fellow a giant hug: Smiles all around.

hugs31As he walked his friend to the other side of the street, a woman who also observed the scene smiled at me and said, “We need more hugging in the world.” The driver ran back to his van in time to catch the green light and nobody honked in all this time. For NYC: Remarkable.

The very same day I was walking east on 43rd Street when I heard a man making soothing sounds so I looked to see why. In his arms was a beautiful black cat. The man was cooing, chatting with and hugging the creature and both seemed happy and content, making me feel cheerful in turn.

Don’t you think that hugs are curative?


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