She wanted more hugs in her life but didn’t know where to get them. She lives alone. Drives a milk truck and is always alone. Where to find hugs?
She couldn’t very well ask the farmers whose milk she picks up. They’ve already been at their chores and are having breakfast by the time she drives into their yards. Aside from the cows and other farm animals, there’s nobody around in the morning when she is out and about doing her job.
So she decided to ask the man at the depot where she delivers the milk. She knew he might think it strange. She knew he might think her weird, but she didn’t care. She knew what she wanted and she knew the only way to get it was to ask for it.
Her round completed, the truck container full, April climbed down out of her truck one morning as the dispatcher came out to greet her. She took a deep breath. She was nervous, and determined.
She smiled (she always smiles, it is her nature), and explained what she wanted.
“A hug?” he asked.
“Yes. I want more hugs in my life. It’s important to me. And you’re the only person I see in the morning.”
The dispatcher looked at her. Thought about it for a moment, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sure. Why not?”
Three months later, the dispatcher and April start and end their morning conversation with a hug. When her truck pulls up, he is there, every morning, waiting to hug. And other drivers are doing it too. Greeting each with more than just a nod of the head. They’re hugging each other.
April’s first request that started with a ‘Why not” response, has turned into a morning of hugs. Of other workers coming out to greet her and hug her when she arrives. It’s resulted in hugs being shared everywhere. Of fathers going home to hug their children. Of wives greeting their husbands with a hug. Of co-workers acknowledging one another and hugging to seal their pact of mutual respect and connection.
A hug may not save the world, but it sure can strengthen our connections. It sure can change our attitudes. It sure can bring us closer together.
April shared this story on Friday night of the Givers 2 weekend — Givers 2 is the second weekend trainees from the Choices program where I’ve been coaching since Wednesday, come back to complete the training. It is a weekend that focuses on communication — and the crafting of each individual’s ‘Purpose Statement’ on Sunday afternoon. On Friday night, in preparation for Sunday’s big event, trainees are asked to share ‘The Best Thing that’s happened to me since Choices and Givers 1.”
This was the story April shared. Inspired by her story, I asked her if I could share it here to which she responded, “If it inspires others to hug more, why not?”
Why not indeed?
When I went through Choices 8 years ago, I wasn’t much of a hugger. I had a belief, somewhere inside me, that hugs were not okay. That hugs were scary. That people didn’t really want to get that close. That hugging them would scare them. Or offend them. Or make them mad.
I was wrong.
We are all looking for connection. And hugs are a simple way to connect.
Give one. You automatically get one back. Give two. Get two back. And so it goes.
Alexis, my eldest daughter, when asked by a panhandler if she had any change to spare, once replied, “Can’t help you in the finance department, but I have a hug if you want one.”
“Pardon?” he asked.
“A hug,” she replied. “I have no change but I have a hug.”
His face broke into a smile. “Really?” he asked incredulously. “Yeah. I’ll take one.”
And she wrapped her arms around his worn coat and for a moment, they were both just two human beings standing heart to heart.
There is power in connecting heart to heart with our fellow human beings. A hug has been proven to lower blood pressure. To improve happiness levels.
Try it. Ask someone you work with, someone you live with, someone you meet if they would like to connect heart to heart. Ask, “Can I give you a hug?” or, like April, if you’re seeking more hugs, ask for what you want.
Giving is receiving. In the process of giving a hug, you’ll both experience in the reciprocal nature of a hug. What could be better than that?
And if you don’t really think a hug can make a difference, check out this article HERE.
Go ahead. Try it. ask someone today if you can give them a hug and see what miracles happen.
(Thank you April and Alexis for letting me share your stories.)