More Hugs, Less Drugs

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Dr. Abdulfattah Adeyemi

There are great connections between body and mind: a humanistic link between how we feel, and how we heal, as well as what we experience and what needs fixing. Diseases are real, infections are real, and affections are real. Influenza is as communicable as smiling is contagious. Resentment is like cancer, sentiment is like a virus. Love can heal as much as hate can kill. Many people suffer mental exhaustion, even when they have physical stamina. They look agile on the outside, but fragile on the inside. There are dark episodes in life with ordeals of illness. The world is sick, many people are ill.

As there are supplements of medicine, so also do we have emotional crutches to support the weight of life’s demands. Among the greatest medicine ever known to man is laughter! The sound of cheerfulness, the melodious tune of hope. It brings ecstasy to the inventory of emotions, majesty to the teeth, elegance to the mouth, and grace to the face. It revives the nerves, pacifies the stress, and relieves the tensions. It confirms the joy in the heart and brings vitality to the disturbed mind. Its absence is a sign of sorrow, a symptom of sadness, a pointer to illness. It is a disease not to laugh. It is ignorance not to know how to laugh. Those who frown a lot are likely unhealthy people.

Another sure cure for humanity is good words. Words are sometimes like pills to be swallowed in doses. Pills go through the throats, words go through the ears. Analgesics can impede the aches; good words can numb the pains. Some well arranged words that bring healings are like instruments on a surgical tray, with which a heart surgery can be made to mend a broken heart. It is wonderful how words can talk a person on a sick bed back to his feet. It is also wonderful how love and acceptance can be part of a healing process.

Everyone that has a body and arms needs to press their body firmly with their lover’s. Having someone to hug can make all of the difference in a person’s life, because a hug is not a clutch from a snatch. It is not a grip for a brawl. It is not a capture for a clamp. The boss craves a hug as much as the subordinate. The prince needs it as much as the pauper does. Hearts are not warmed in microwaves; it is a hug that warms the heart. We all need a hug to share joy, and a cuddle to wade through sad times.

To hug is to embrace, to accept and to include. It is to tolerate each other and make room for our shared nationality and humanity. Many would not commit suicide if they were accepted and embraced. Many would not give up on themselves if others had accommodated them. Many would not destroy others’ property if they felt included in the community. But when people are treated like parasites, like foreigners, non-indigenes, or mere “settlers”, they feel excluded, and soon, they begin to behave like viruses to the body of the society. Hug is a sure cure for tribalism, nepotism, bigotry and other mental illnesses. We need to bark less, and wag more; we need less drugs, and more hugs.

(www.abdulfattahadeyemi.com)