The Atlantic just had an article on touch. In light of Joe Biden and MeToo and numerous other issues/trends/discussions in our world today, it raises some good questions.The article examines the known health benefits of human touch; we all need it. At the same time, it recognizes that touch has other implications according to gender, social status, and power inequality.
Which brings me to 8 Hugs a Day. Over 15 years ago Tom Pease called me up one day and said that a principal in a school he’d been working in had shared with him research about the number of hugs needed by all of us. For example, here are ten reasons why we need 8 hugs. Virginia Satir said “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
I guess we settled on 8. I worked on the fairly simple chorus all day, and then Tom and I refined it. We started writing verses with kids, some of which we eventually recorded. We both think of it as our go-to-song, a song that works in so many environments. and situations. It has only failed me once. It creates an instant sense of community and playfulness. There are some people who don’t like to hug, of course, and we allow for that as we set up and perform the song. But most people are glad to have the opportunity in a ligh-hearted way.
When you see a giant room of folks singing, laughing, and hugging, the power of touch and the song becomes evident. Of all of our songs, I think this is the best one we’ve created together.
Here’s a video