WE NEED TO STOP WHAT WE ARE DOING AND GIVE A HUG!

This has been a terrible few weeks for all of humanity. We have been struck with tragedies and cruelty and injustice. . . this has truly been the ‘dog days of summer’.

First, we heard of the suicide of Robin Williams, an icon to many of us. Some of you sitting here grew up with his humor and wit in such zany characters as Mork from Ork, making us all laugh at the impossibility of a creator from outer space. Some of us remember his role as the professor who encouraged his students to go outside the box and become authentic people. And for us Episcopalians, we remember (and wear on tee-shirts) the top ten reasons to be Episcopalian.

What you probably don’t know that is for every movie, program or event he participated in, he required that the sponsoring agency hire a certain number of homeless people as part of the crew. When other celebrities wanted private jets and expensive meals, he thought of those less fortunate.

Robin brought humor and levity to the rest of the world, but lived in a world of darkness. Mental illness robs a person of their hope and, added to a diagnosis of early Parkinson’s, Robin was so despondent that he could not see any way out of the pain but by ending his life. No matter the accolades and love he got from others, it could not get him out of the pit of depression and drug dependency. If something good has come of his death, it is the awareness by a lot of people that mental illness does not afflict ‘crazy’ people, but everyday people who seem normal.

The death of Michael Brown at the hands of the Ferguson police was a horrific tragedy. We still don’t know all the details, but there seems to be no justifiable reason for the shooting, especially a shooting of six bullets. For many in the United States, they mistakenly believe that there are no racial problems anymore; that the Civil Rights Acts of the sixties solved all that. But as the details come out, we find that there is a long history of racial discrimination in Ferguson. . . and many other cities in the United States.

Here was a young man, a ‘gentle giant’, who had his whole life ahead of him. Sure, he was walking in the street next to cars, but that action DID NOT warrant the resultant action by the police. And since that time, there have been several other young (and not so young) black men who have been mistreated by local police, some ending in the death of a father, son, brother or uncle.

To some degree, each one of us is depressed or greatly moved by the events of this month. We have sunk into a funk where there is no joy in the world, no sense of right. We, at least I am, in a malaise, where we have no initiative or drive.

We need some comfort!

    WE NEED TO STOP WHAT WE ARE DOING AND GIVE A HUG!

Hugging is one of the most comforting things you can experience. Hugs give you an emotional boost and a feeling of rejuvenation. They improve relationships, encourage us to be more present, and snap us out of funks and negative feelings. But aside from the obvious emotional benefits of hugging, there are some other benefits which are pretty amazing.

Hugs can reduce blood pressure and improve the health of your heart, reducing your chance of heart attacks and strokes.

Hugs reduce anxiety and depression, gives us a feeling of love, trust and bonding.

Hugs reduce the fear of death and increase our self-esteem. No one can hug or get a hug and not feel better about themselves or the other person.

Hugging has even be linked to increased memory due to reduction of stress.

Even hugging trees (instead of people) can reduce stress and take away pain.

    WE NEED TO STOP WHAT WE ARE DOING AND GIVE A HUG!

We need to give or get hugs EVERY SINGLE DAY!

When you are depressed or in pain or disgusted with your life, give someone a hug. If you see someone who feels sad or seems out-of-sorts, give that person a hug.

You will feel better and so will they.

We are a community, wrought with all the traits of a varied group of people. We need each other and share our lives with each other. We are the support system that keeps each one of us going. A touch or a hug can say much more to another person about how you care for them than saying it.

So, I challenge you:

    TO TURN TO YOUR NEIGHBOR

    STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING

    AND

    GIVE THEM A HUG RIGHT NOW!

Amen.

One thought on “WE NEED TO STOP WHAT WE ARE DOING AND GIVE A HUG!

  1. Reblogged this on judyablfollowingSheWhoIs and commented:
    And, if a hug does not seem like what to do in a given circumstance, give a smile and a prayer. Most of all getup, get out, and be involved in the hurts around you. Find a place to serve, whether it is in street ministries or other ministries or just daily life, and do it. You do have something to give-it is your love.
    Blessings on Rev. Deniray who is also another street preacher who feeds the homeless with the finest wheat..
    Rev. Dr. Judy Lee,
    Good Shepherd Community in Fort Myers, Florida

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