I have wanted for a long time to be a hugger, and I think I’m getting better at it. My family hugs, but not regularly, and rarely do we hug strangers. Our hugs were saved for special events and the occasional farewells. I understand the importance of the hug, and I wish I felt more comfortable with them. As I said, though, I’m getting better.
Stone Thirteen declares that we learn to deepen our ability to love when we learn to tolerate, accept, embrace, and forgive. The part about embracing causes some of us to stumble. Of course the intention was more than just the physical embrace. To embrace means to go one step further than acceptance and tolerance.
Not only do we tolerate and accept that another’s religious beliefs are different than ours, but we also look for ways in which we can embrace at least a small measure of them. Even if we can’t accept any of the religious beliefs another person holds, we can still choose to embrace them, and, figuratively speaking, hold them in our hearts as fellow travelers on the planet. When possible, we can also let go of our inhibitions and feelings of shyness, and offer them a hug. I rarely find anyone who says “no” to a hug.
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