Yesterday was “Warm Fuzzy Day” at school, a day in which both teachers and students are given necklaces on which a ball of bright yarn strings are attached. Throughout the day, people exchange these strings of yarn for hugs. The kids love it. PDA is acceptable for one day of the year and it gives them an excuse not to learn. Most teachers hate “Warm Fuzzy Day” for the same reasons. I, however, thoroughly enjoy it. Maybe I’m just an emotionally needy person, but I enjoy a day devoted to hugs. It’s only once a year, after all, and as high school teachers, we don’t really get the opportunity very often to show affection to our students. It’s a one-time opportunity to put your arms around your students and say, “You know what, you’re a good kid.” They need to hear that, and we need to say it.
I’ve embraced “Warm Fuzzy Day”, so much so that I’m actually thinking of recommending to my Congressional representatives that it should become a national holiday. Can you imagine? Think about it. Think about walking into a restaurant and having the hostess give you a welcoming hug saying, “I’m so glad you’re here.” Think about actually placing the tip in your server’s hand, then pulling him in for a hug and saying, “Thanks so much for all of your service this evening.” Think about the overly harried woman zooming through the aisles of the grocery store with a screaming child in the cart, a list in one hand, caffeine in the other. Picture yourself pulling your cart alongside her as she frantically scans the meat at the deli counter, placing your arm around her shoulder, smiling, and saying, “You have such a beautiful child.” Or, picture the older woman, her shoulders stooped over her grocery cart, shuffling slowly through the aisles, her list grasped tightly in her weathered hand. Her cart is mostly empty, save for a box of Folger’s Singles and a box of vanilla wafers. Imagine yourself going up to her as she reaches up for a loaf of whole-wheat bread, pulling the bread down for her, smiling, saying, “That sweater really brings out the blue in your eyes.” And give her slight frame a gentle squeeze.
The world would be much different, I think, if we had a national “Warm Fuzzy Day.” Instead of cursing other drivers on the road, we could smile and wave. Instead of honking in impatience, we could honk in joy, smiling and waving madly to our fellow travelers. We could hold doors open for people again, ask “How are you?” and genuinely want an honest response, compliment one another on jobs well done. On “Warm Fuzzy Day” hurt feelings would be put aside, anger would be let go of, and adversaries would come together for a warm embrace saying, “It’s really good to see you today.”
Yes, I am a fan of “Warm Fuzzy Day”. It’s only one day, after all. How hard can it be to show only kindness for one day?
Blessings and Peace,