November is a time of reflection and giving thanks for all the gifts that we have received throughout the year. This thought inspired me to look on facebook to see how people are reflecting and giving thanks in their personal lives — Yes, even I check out facebook from time-to-time. I came across this saying – “What this world needs is a group hug.” I thought about this statement and realized that hugging is a great way to show your appreciation, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, love, gratitude, joy and happiness. The very action encompasses all of these things. What if all the people in this world hugged each other, each time they met? “Hmm,” I thought, “an interesting concept.” It would be a perfect way to say, “You are a beautiful soul, inside and out; and you are loved. Thank you for being you!”
So, I tried hugging my close friends and not so close friends each time I met them. At first, their reaction was one of confusion, and some even rebuffed my hug. I continued to hug them and their confusion eventually disappeared – Even more surprising, they began to hug me back. Interestingly, the ones that rebuffed me in the first place began to accept the hug but asked, “Why do you greet me in this manner? I don’t deserve this.” “Really,” I responded, “you are a child of God and that makes you beautiful inside and out. Why shouldn’t you be hugged?”
Well, about a week later, one of the people who I hugged, picked up a rock with hearts on it, which had the message, “You are Beautiful Inside and Out.” She told me she chose to buy that rock with that saying because of what I said to her while hugging her. She also said, she would never forget me as long as she lived becasue I filled a void within her. She said the rock would be her reminder to “Pay the Love Forward”.
The difference we can make can be phenomenal. Today, let’s work towards showing gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness and love for others and then…