How often do you hug your family?
You see, I have seen this tender communication of unconditional love cheapened.
It has evolved into the new handshake.
When the Knicks got over-Heated by Miami the other night, the opponents met at half court to exchange postgame hugs.
No one seemed too happy to be hugging 250 pounds of exhausted Lebron as he dispensed 6 quarts of hot sweat to each hugger.
These pro sports hugs have all the sincerity of an apology from John Edwards.
Teens, meanwhile, have turned the hug into the common greeting between acquaintances.
According to a recent survey, hugging is creeping into the business world.
Here's the problem: Outside the home, the hug is gaining.
Inside the home, the hug is fading.
And it's inside the home that it is most needed.
The hug you give your son, daughter, spouse, parent, or sibling is silent therapy.
Your eyes closed, arms tightly around her.
Something powerful flows through you.
You are momentarily safe from all threats, removed from whatever's bothering you.
In the loving hug, you're like a baby in the arms of her mother.
Isn't it strange that the act that says the most to us about love is without words?
My dog Marby doesn't do much from a practical standpoint other than bark at strangers and the mailman.
But she makes us feel so loved with her form of hugs.
She wants to touch us: chin on my knee, sleeping on my wife's foot, or leaning against me just watching TV together.
She somehow knows that physical closeness is therapeutic for her and for me.
There is an Indian mystic called "The Hugging Saint" .
Her name is Amma.
People all over the world line up by the tens of thousands just to get a hug.
Most leave in tears, some kind of dam broken to release pent-up emotion.
My dad's hugs were of the big bear variety, bristly whiskers scratching my cheeks, old spice filling my nostrils.
Mom gently enveloped us kids in an overstuffed comforter kind of hug, so soothing you could fall asleep mid-hug, faint traces of her delicate "White Shoulders" perfume left on my face.
In a couple of days, my daughter is headed off to an Asian trip.
Won't see her again until January.
I'll take her to the airport and just before she heads down Concourse A, she and I will pause.
I won't be able to talk.
We will hug.
The universe, just for a few seconds, will consist of her and me and an unbreakable bond of love.
In your family, delete the words for just a minute.
Nothing is as articulate as the loving soliloquy you deliver with your arms bent around those you love.
So hug your family.
Shock the heck out of them.
You won't be embarrassed.
You'll be invigorated.
Shut your mouth and open your arms.
Let two hearts connect.
If you don't, l'll make you hug Lebron.