Once the memory of their school days starts to fade, many adults think the troubles of this time are not much of a burden compared to the problems they have to face in their world. But I’m sure everyone who’s still in school or was not too long ago will recognise that there are many things that can make an ordinary day at school seem like hell, something you might at some point even think you don’t have the power to endure any longer.
No matter if it’s bullying, problems at home or “just” the normal pressure that comes with what seems to be a planned out school “career” nowadays with parents apparently thinking that their kids are doomed if they don’t study for hours every day once they attend kindergarten.
And everyone who was lucky enough to have some loving friends helping them through such days will tell you that there are some little things that can mean so much, that can give you the confidence you need to face these problems once again, that can be a game changer in the harsh world school has become for many kids.
A hug from a friend is one of these simple, yet incredible powerful things.
But not everyone is seeing hugs for what they are: A way to embrace your friends, a way to comfort someone who is in need, a way to save someone’s day. For some people hugs are a threat. A dangerous act that leads to something these people fear more than the devil itself: Sex.
I would be preaching to the choir here if I point out that this is, of course, utter nonsense; that there is nothing sexual about hugs. That not every time people touch each other it’s a ritual to initiate a wild orgy of teenage sex full of sweat, cum and endorphin. Hugs are just that: hugs.
But some societies are so scared by the idea of two people loving each other, as friends or as a couple, that they don’t even dare to use the word hug. Instead they come up with technical terms that are outright disgusting in their lifeless blandness. A hug becomes a “PDA”, a “Public Display of Affection”, a term that would easily fit into Orwell’s 1984.
Once they do this it can’t really surprise anyone when they start to outlaw hugs. More and more schools all over the Unites States actually state in their school rules that hugs are not allowed or that students can’t come closer than 30 centimetres to each other. The school that banned hugging as an “unsuitable physical interaction” was just the latest example, this is going on for years now.
The hypocrisy of a system in which weapons are glorified and a film about a game that consists of kids slaughtering each other is celebrating one of the most successful opening weekends in cinema history while the mere slip of a nipple of a female singer causes enough controversy and outrage to keep the nation’s media busy for weeks and weeks is hardly worth pointing out since it’s so painfully obvious. It’s this kind of hypocrisy that leads to schools prohibiting hugs while bullying gay teens is defended as “freedom of religion”.
It this really the world we want to live in? Is this how we want the next generations to grow up? Under the impression that affection is something dirty, that caring for each other is “inappropriate”? I don’t have any solutions handy here. But I do believe that it’s time to do something. To make it better for American kids and to make sure this attitude won’t spread to other parts of the world.
But what do you do in the face of insanity?