Thursday, June 18, 2009

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

Hugging forbidden! Recently, hugging was banned at several schools in various places around the world. What are your thoughts? Anything important about this ban or the act of a frequent hug?


Susan Barnes said...

I think it is sad that it has become necessary to ban hugging.

Even though, personally, I only want to be hugged by people whom I consider friends.

Greg said...

Thanks. I wonder if the ban on hugging has anything to do with it becoming an act of encouraging a victim mentality. "Poor me" may be valid, but it also may not be healthy.

Lukas und Céline Kuhs said...

In the school they argue, that each individual needs their personal space. Where "many students don't understand what is acceptable touching behavior" it is in my opinion important to take the consequences. For the benefit of everybody. (I read this article.)

Interesting: Hugging is a sin for devote Muslims.

Greg said...

Thanks. Acceptable touching behavior is an interesting thought. There seem to be less and less boundaries nowadays.

Joshua said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joshua said...

This is definitely one of the more hilarious contemporary issues imo.

A comedic outlook

Greg said...

Thanks. Hilarious link. What's in this hugging craze? Do you make anything of it?

Dan Brennan said...


This is so anti-incarnational, its sad.

Greg said...

Thanks. There's more going on with all this than meets the eye. Perhaps, as you point out, there are some underlying theological questions to go along with the cultural one's. Be interesting to see how it plays out, or if it simply fades away.

Joshua said...

No take, just a few half baked opinions from my vantage point.

I'm obviously against schools banning it. The ban itself has more issues related to it than its object.

As for hugging, I'm not sure what's going on with kids. For the young adults, I feel that it's often times inappropriate as it displays a false sense of intimacy greater than what it actually is in the relationship. To that end, Americans especially who seem to be more extrovert and in general have less substantial bonds are quick to seek to establish connections with others even as those connections seem groundless. I hug strangers, it communicates a friendliness and sense of openness to them. I think that it gives a false view, ironically I do it to hide and keep them at a distance.

The process seems faddish.

On that end, I have no problem actually with friends hugging friends. I prefer bowing, but whatever.

As Mal suggest though, people need to be touched 10 times a day.

I'm not sure what you mean by it encouraging a victim mentality. Care to elaborate? Also not seeing its theological relevance.

There are different hugs though. One hug is when the female leans forward to the men, so as to basically I think avoid inappropriate touching. The entire hug looks awkward, much like the equivalent of the limp-fish handshake.

Usually I'm also much quicker to want to get out of the embrace than the other. Why the longer hug? I have no idea. One exception though was when a guy named Jon ended up crashing at our place. The next night, he gave me a 3 minute hug, literally. Definitely past my awkward time zone, but he was able to disarm me. It was especially interesting too as he tends not to feel comfortable with strangers.

John said...

Well, this is an interesting topic! I think hugs are great, personally. I think there is something soothing about a hug from a close friend, or giving someone a hug when you have not seen them in a while.

I noticed that at one of the schools, it's not a complete ban, but a ban on hugs over two seconds. So this doesn't make the "hello hug" wrong, but you are not allowed to just stand and hug. I used to see it all the time in high school even (yes, high school) where a guy would be leaning against the wall, and his girlfriend would have her arms wrapped around his neck, and would be talking to the couple next to them who were in the same position. Awkward? Yes. I've always thought that was a sign of neediness and immaturity, so I have no problem with schools saying that is against the rule. It's distracting and also disgusting sometimes!

That being said, I think hugs can be a healthy thing. Research has shown that kids who are hugged and touched (appropriately, of course) more often by their parents often turn out better adjusted than kids who are not hugged.

So I say hug away, but please, be PG about it. And don't assume everyone wants a hug. Some don't. Sometimes the right to hug someone has to be earned. There is nothing wrong with a handshake goodbye (no, a handshake is not awkward) or a high five, or even just saying "Well, see ya later!" and leaving.

Greg said...

I like your point about a false sense of intimacy. Seems like that might do more to eventually create suspicion about relationships.

On the victim, I just meant that if someone is perceived as a victim then others might think that person needs a hug. Such a notion might encourage the victim to remain a victim in addition to not realizing that victimizing is also part of who one is.

I think the theological was Dan's point. The incarnation is an embrace that hugging could, in some fashion, be an analogy for.

Touching 10 times a day? And 3 minute hugs?

Greg said...

Thanks. Interesting perspective. Hugging has its pros and cons, and context is extremely relevant to which is which.

Joshua said...

Most might differentiate between holding someone and hugging them. I don't want to "hug you all night long" after all. Or maybe the hicks just have their lyrics backwards.

For those interested in a little inappropriate humor, you guys might wanna check out Free Hugs Prank on youtube.

Greg said...

Cheers, or should I say "hugs."

. said...

I cant think of anything more silly. Bugging makes people more relazed, happier, more connected.

Greg said...

Back to life again,
Thanks and welcome. True, hugging can do that, but I wonder if it can also give a false sense of the things you mention. Further, too much of a potentially good thing can turn it into something mundane and hollow.

harry coe maynard said...


Oh Jeruselem, Jeruselem how I longed to hold you into my bossom.
Some allowed Jesus to hug them, the proud didn't.

I've been proud many times.

Rock my soul...etc


Greg said...

Thanks Harry coe!