National Hug Day

January 21, 2011 by USA Post 

National Hug Day, A “National Hug Day’’EST a brilliant idea. Here’s why. People are desperate to be happy, there is an end in itself, something we ever reach. But our society has a distorted conception of happiness. We equate success with a small arbitrary set of career paths and we said if we continue down this narrow path, we would be happy.

But happiness cannot be taken out of another time. It is now. And that means being engaged with the world and inspired by it. Happiness and social understanding requires recognition of others. We must understand their position and wanting to disclose the infinite layers of complexity. Humans are social animals. We need to relate with others. It feels good when someone says hello to you, or holds the door for you. Why? Because it is an acknowledgment of your presence. This is a great achievement that we all have something to learn from each other and we can all work to make each other happy.

We do not live in a Hobbesian state of nature. We can be courteous and respectful and exercise basic ways, but why stop there? We can extend so beautiful. We can congratulate someone; we can incorporate random acts of kindness in our daily lives. We can hug, hug, and hug. Life is short and we have nothing to lose by being pleasant and cheerful.

Last summer, one of my best friends in the city of New York was a taxi driver who took me to my apartment in Harlem on the first day I arrived in the city. I spent much of the summer sitting in front of his cabin as he did his rounds. The ritual has become as we engage passengers in conversation as we took them to their destination. Some courses have been pretty gloomy, but the majority was desperate to talk. Within a 20 – or 30 minutes by taxi, they tell us more about life than I’m sure they said most of their close friends. They knew they would never see us again, so they can open up to us unhindered. Interactions are beautiful and there was always a mutual feeling of happiness when we got to the final destination. I learned from this experience that people often want spontaneous interaction with others and that these basic acts to open up to make other people happy.

Today is National Hug (or embrace) Day! Recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the only thing that could make this holiday better would be a day off. Give someone a hug today.

On this day in 1954, the first submarine nuclear-powered USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Conn., by the first lady of the era, Mamie Eisenhower.
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