“We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.” –Dalai Lama
You see your uncle at the annual holiday party. It’s been almost six months since you saw him last. You’ve heard all about his company folding. You know his home’s gone into foreclosure.
But you hardly know each other these days. You don’t know his dog’s name, his favorite breakfast food, or how he likes to spend his Saturdays. He hasn’t shared any details about his life with you. It’s not your place to pry.
So you give him a peripheral hug—a loose arm around his shoulder, a quick brush of your cheek against his. Then you move back into the crowd, having bypassed a potentially uncomfortable moment.
Sometimes the most uncomfortable moments are the ones that make the biggest difference.
You don’t have to do it in words. We all know they’re a dime a dozen. You don’t have to extend a sympathetic gaze. It may come across as pity. A simple hug does so much more.
A real hug—the type that lets you feel someone’s heartbeat. The kind that tells the other person you’d hold them up if they needed it. The kind that says, “We’re not so different, and I have faith in you.”
The beauty is when you give that to someone else you generally get it in return.