Hugging affectionate action, not middle-school crime

A world without hugs. Could you live in it?The Associated Press released an article Tuesday that spoke of an eighth grader who received detention for hugging her friends goodbye for the weekend.

Her parents took their complaints to the administration, who could only promise that they would review the school policy that banned hugging.

I can understand a policy that doesn’t allow teachers to hug their students because of all the cases being brought to court these days when children are touched inappropriately by their instructors.

This school in Illinois, though, bans their students from hugging one another.

Grace Preparatory Academy, a private school in Arlington, also bans hugging between students.

It’s astounding how many schools are banning this type of public display of affection.

We are all in college, and this may not affect us, or will it? What happens when these kids come to college? I can think of two scenarios.

They will be afraid to hug, or they will be more likely to go beyond hugging, just to prove their point.

Hugs are a lifeline.

They are a simple reminder that someone cares about you. I can’t begin to count the number of times that I’ve felt down or upset about something only to be hugged by a friend who sincerely means it.

It makes life easier, doesn’t it?

Kevin Eikenberry, author of “Vantagepoints on Learning and Life,” offers insight and suggestions on hugging in an article published on www.studentaffairs.case.edu.

“Hugging is a way of connecting with others, of showing your genuine affection and appreciation, of valuing others, and of giving,” he wrote. “All of these are positive, healthy, life-enhancing purposes.”

Can you imagine? Hugging is “life-enhancing.” How can we deprive people in such a difficult part of life from hugging when Eikenberry calls it “life-enhancing?” That term is so strong.

There are different types of PDA, most of which I think are even inappropriate in universities.

I, personally, don’t like walking past two people who look as though they are eating each other’s faces.

It makes me uncomfortable.

Never can I even remember feeling awkward or uneasy in the presence of two people hugging, regardless of where I am.

I believe that hugs heal. When terrible things, such as Sept. 11 or the shooting at Virginia Tech happen, what better way to show your support and concern than to hug that friend in need?

There are Web sites that give people advice on hugging, how to show people that you care through a hug.

These are some of the ideas I found.

One of the first and final steps in almost all the Web sites I looked at was solid eye contact; it lets the receiver in on why the hug is being given and seals it when it’s over.

Also, devote your entire self to the hug and put all of your energy into giving it.

Don’t half-hug, as I like to call it, where you throw an arm around someone and call it a hug. If you’re going to take the time to do that, use both arms and make the receiver feel warm and secure.

These are just a few ways you can improve your hugs. Take some time to think about how hugs have made you feel. Then, practice.

Give hugs daily, because what you give, you will always receive.

Marissa Warms is a senior advertising/public relations major from Irving. Her column appears Fridays.