Wednesday, March 25, 2015


  1. 1.
    a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.

Each night as crawl into my bed I seem to savor the feeling of the cotton sheets, the warmth of the blankets promising seven to eight hours of restful sleep. As I routinely did this the other night, I thought of the many who have no bed, no sheets and sometimes, no blanket.  Their bed is on a park bench, in an alley, in a cardboard box, or in a  car...

Have they experienced this simple joy that I feel every single night?  

And that's just one thing.   What do they do when they are thirsty?  Need to shower?  Go to the bathroom?  Hungry? Lonely? Scared? Cold? Tired? Sick?  Lost hope?

Although my house is a small and very humble, I must remember it is my home, full of comfort, ease, and safety.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


transitive verb
:  to press tightly especially in the arms
a :  congratulate
b :  to hold fast :  cherish <hugged his miseries like a sulky child — John Buchan
:  to stay close to <the road hugs the river>

When I was just out of high school, I volunteered in a nursing home.  I loved associating with the residents there.  However one particular lady there scared me. She looked about 200 years old .  She was in a wheelchair, and she would wheel through the halls screaming with her unkempt wiry gray hair.  I avoided her.

Until one day I decided to conquer my fear.  I approached her and took her flailing, panicky hand in mine.  She stopped screaming and clasped my hand as if I was her only lifeline.  She just wanted to feel loved.  She wanted to feel human despite what time had robbed from her.

Humanity is described as the quality of life.  I think our human interaction helps us feel human.  Touch, a kind word,  a hug, and even a smile can improve someone's humanity.

I teach a Leadership class to 6th graders and the the other day I told them that according to a study, humans need 12 hugs a day for growth.  

"We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." (Psychotherapist Virginia Satir) 

I explained physical hugs are so important, but according to Stephen Covey, states hugs can be physical, verbal, visual or environmental. 

I love one of the definitions of hug:  "to hold fast or cherish".  That's what my friend in the nursing home wanted.    She wanted to be hugged, cherished, touched, and seen as a human being.

We all want that.  We all need hugs.  I challenged my students to give 12 hugs that day, because I believe we receive "hugs" as we give hugs to others.   As for me, I am working on giving "hugs" to my family, friends, and those I come in contact with every day.  

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