Hugs & Exercising The 5th Sense


October 2011

On my way home the other day, I saw a boy who was as tall as his mother lightly holding hands with her as they walked down the lane. It was a heartwarming sight that got me thinking about the power of touch.

Someone once said, “Happiness is an unexpected hug.” Our need for physical connection starts from birth—a nursing newborn instinctively seeks nourishment and comfort. Young children who are frequently cuddled and adults who receive regular positive touch (as opposed to negative forms like abuse or molest) are reportedly happier and healthier than their peers.

Touch communicates love, conveys comfort and heals hurts. It breaks down barriers so that even normally reticent teenagers would be more open to sharing their thoughts and feelings. It’s a nonverbal expression of caring when you can’t find the right words at a funeral or sickbed. I’ve read that touch strengthens our immune system, and it also lightens dark moods.

Remember that warm fuzzy feeling you had the last time you gave or received a touch? One of my favourite cartoonists Bill Watterson captured it perfectly in “Calvin & Hobbes”.


Why not give someone whom you care for a gift of touch today? Surprise him or her with a hug, a squeeze on the shoulder, a pat on the head or just lightly place your hand over theirs. Go on, make their day, and yours too! And while you’re at it, how about taking the time to say aloud, “I love you” or “You matter to me” or “I value your friendship.”

A hug is a great gift—one size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange. ~Author Unknown
A hug is like a boomerang—you get it back right away. ~Bil Keane, Cartoonist, “The Family Circus”



“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.” ~Apostle Paul


November 2011

3.14pm – My phone notification sounds….a friend just delivered her third child.
3:53pm – A colleague calls….his dad just passed away.

Life and Death within an hour. Two certainties in life; two ends of a journey that every living creature must go through. At times like this, reflection is normal: “What is it that’s truly important during our sojourn on earth?”

How many people look back when their final hour beckons, and wish they had worked harder? The reality, according to a survey, is that a desire to turn back the clock and spend more time with loved ones tops the list of death-bed regrets. Recall or read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and the warning by miserly Scrooge’s partner Jacob. He laments, “In life, my spirit never rose beyond the limits of our money-changing holes.”

“If Only” is always Mr Right –that’s the quaint expression someone I know used to say. More typically, the phrase “Hindsight is 20-20” is quoted. Few people go through life without acquiring excess baggage that sings the tune, “If only I/they had….” or “If only I/they hadn’t…”

Heed the wise sayings that go like this, “Enough for today are today’s own problems”, “Let bygones be bygones” and “Do not anxiously hope for that which is not yet come; do not vainly regret what is already past.”. That’s not to say we don’t carry forward valuable lessons learnt from past experiences, but let’s travel light.

Treasure the people in your life; they won’t be there forever. Some will be like ships that pass in the night—if that line sounds familiar, it’s probably because crooner Barry Manilow used it in a song. Others will be there only for a season but let’s be content with what they add to our lives during that period. A final group will be like cosy blankets or comfortable outfits, sticking with us through thick and thin as together, we witness the decades go by. My recommendation: Value them all!


I’ve realised the necessity of arranging or rearranging my “prioroties” to match what’s in my heart. Said an exhausted parent to his children, “I’m working day and night so you’ll have a better life.” Perhaps a pertinent question to ask is, “Better by whose standards?” A sorrowful parent told anyone who’d listen to her woes, “I worked so hard to provide for my son and spent all my time building up my business. Now, my teenager doesn’t even talk to me. He treats me like a stranger and our home like a hotel.” It’s the age-old argument of quality time versus quantity. Can our kids only enjoy one or the other?

Time is unbiased, and rich or poor, we all get the same 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 60 minutes an hour. So if someone says they’ve no time to celebrate or mourn with a family member or friend, answer a call or catch up over a meal, isn’t it a matter of choice? On a day when Life and Death met, it was time for me to reassess my commitments and activities. I know my answer to the first question in this post. How about you?

4 thoughts on “Hugs & Exercising The 5th Sense

  1. God, family (for those who’re married – spouse followed by children), ministry/work, friends and others. If only our actual allocation of time matches our priority list.

    • I’m learning how important it is to keep checking with God to see what He thinks about the way I spend my time and other resources. Have you read the classic poem by CT Studd?
      Two memorables lines are: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.” Shalom!

  2. Appreciate the hugs! I’ll go and do the same! We need to make sure the people we love know how we feel about them.

    • I agree! To me, the most extravagant display of love was when Jesus died painfully and publicly on Calvary for us—what a wonder that God resurrected Him and we now have a loving Saviour who’s alive and always rooting for us. Showers of Blessings!

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