It used to be that hugs were natural. Now we must be careful not to offend or give the wrong message. Over my lifetime, I’ve seen a gradual loss in the show of any kind of physical affection in our society. We’re told to be conscious of how others feel if we show any outward feelings – especially when it comes to children or vulnerable individuals.
I come from a long line of huggers. Most of my aunts and uncles had no problem with planting a big one on each of us. Part of it was a show of love. Part was because we hadn’t seen each other for a while. Mostly it was because it was how we were raised.
Unfortunately, times have changed. With all the issues of sexual harassment, improper touching and the secrets held behind closed doors in the church as well as schools has made it nearly impossible to show someone you care by giving them a hug. It’s really sad in a way, because we all need reassurance from time to time. We’re slowly losing some of our means of communicating by not being able to hug.
I’m all for being conscious of others’ feelings. I really wouldn’t want to create a feeling of insecurity in another individual by an unwanted hug. It’s hard for us old fogies to give up what once was a sincere show of caring, rather a politically incorrect action. Now we must wait for someone else to initiate the hug. If that’s the case, we’ll soon all be waiting and no hugs will happen. What a sad thought.