I had a student who was just coming unraveled in every way today. He walked up to me and said, “Today just isn’t so good!”

I sighed. I looked him in the eye and said, “Can I give you a one-minute hug?”

He shrugged and said, “I guess.”

I said, “You have to commit for the whole minute. Can you do that?”

He said, “I guess.”

So the hug began. At 20 seconds (I always watch the clock) he whispered, “Why one minute?”

I whispered back, “So my heart can talk to yours.”

By 30 seconds, his squeeze tightened; and by 45 seconds, his head was on my shoulder.

At 60 seconds, I said, “You made it.”

He didn’t move. Ten more seconds passed.

I said, “It’s time.”

He said, “Thanks for talking to my heart.” He looked ME in the eye and half-smiled.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. But today, that child was loved… if only for 70 seconds.

Love them all. Period.

My kids get hugged. Always publicly. It heals the hurt, the loneliness, the anger. The world needs more hugs.

(from The Principal’s Desk)

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