Think Before … Hugging?!
If you had to live without hugs … would that make you sad or glad?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: How can something as simple as a hug elicit such incredibly different reactions; while it’s not surprising that Red thinks about hugs very differently than Black, it’s very surprising which one of them is supported by science.
Red’s a warm and fuzzy mom, so it goes without saying that hugs are an integral part of who she is. And how she raised her daughters. When her girls were young, she gave them lots and lots of hugs until Black, a self-declared non-hugger, pointed out that not everyone needs or wants a hug. Which, to this day, makes Red wonder,
How could I, a hug-lover, have given birth to two daughters, with neither “inheriting” the hugging gene? But having a non-hugger as my sister, I’ve realized that doesn’t mean they don’t love me, just that they don’t want hugs. Even if I think they need them.
The curious thing is, even as a non-hugger, Black will acknowledge that hugs represent affection, concern, love, appreciation, or sometimes just the joy of seeing someone. And although she’s fascinated by the science behind why some people hate hugs, she’s also read studies (she even sent this one to Red) about their health benefits, including how they can relieve stress.
Red was amused how COVID gave Black an excuse to avoid hugging for years, but now, unless you know her, you might think she’s a germophobe or being overly cautious. But it does beg the question, if hugging is good for you, why would Black avoid it,
We all know what we should do but often ignore what is best for us. I have always felt hugging seems selfish in that it is usually the person who needs a hug who insists on hugging. However, sometimes I will compromise and do it for the other person, so I guess you could say my approach to hugs is … it is better to give than to receive. Even on National Hugging Day.
How do you celebrate Memorial Day? Do you have any traditions?
One of the best things about holiday weekends is having an extra
“weekend” day, especially as most weekends are spent on personal things I can’t
get done during the week, so can be just as exhausting as the week itself. But I always try (but don’t always succeed)
to get some “
me time” by
escaping to my local
, even if it’s more for the popcorn than the movie.
This year, since I have some airfare credits that will expire, I’m going to take advantage of the extra day and visit my oldest friend (from 5 th grade!) who lives in New York. It’s strange being an empty-nester and taking a mini-vacation on my own. It seems like only yesterday, when my girls were much younger, that Black would take us (and her stepdaughters) to the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio, so I know that holiday weekends can provide lifelong memories!
|I love three-day weekends as instead of having two days when I can work uninterrupted, I have three. Some might think I need to get a life, but I have passion projects that bring me joy, so I am doing what makes me happy. And, I have a standing “appointment” at 3 p.m. every Memorial Day to observe the National Moment of Remembrance.|
It is important to remember that Memorial Day weekend is more than just a holiday weekend (and the “unofficial” start to summer). Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. A day to put aside politics and think about patriotism, and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
People have told us they're using our sisterly banter to start conversations with others (family, friends, and even in classrooms), so Black created "Conversation Starters".
red head assets.rebelmouse.io
I’ll admit that I hate technology
and prefer to keep my ostrich head in the sand. But although I’ve slowly gotten better and try not to immediately
default into freakout mode, all this talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) not
only confuses me but scares me. It
reminds me of the 1968 movie “2001 A Space Odyssey,” the
computer named HAL,
and the potential of machines to harm vs. help us. (Yes, I’m being a bit dramatic, but then again,
maybe not …)
Black and I have talked about how it can be used to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems, like cancer, but wherever there’s opportunity for good, there can also be bad actors. And it’s all happening so incredibly fast as it seems like there’s some new development almost daily, and I don’t want to have to understand it, let alone learn how to use it.
It is already impacting society, and although many people play
with it like a toy, early adopters see its value as a powerful tool – for good
and evil. It does not help that the “Godfather
of AI”, as well as one of the creators
of ChatGPT (a leading AI
system where users can pose questions), are warning us of the
potential dangers of the technology and the need to slow things down and have
guardrails in place.|
It is critical to remember that denial does not change reality.
AI will become increasingly important for businesses that want to stay competitive and will dramatically impact the labor market by automating some tasks. But, it will mean critical thinking skills will be more important than ever. And, as AI becomes more integrated into our personal lives, it will be essential for us to understand the basics – both what it can and cannot do.
THE CONVERSATION STARTERS
- What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? How does AI “learn” (get its information)?
- Does AI scare or excite you? Why?
- What are the benefits of AI? What are the challenges or risks associated with AI?
- Do you think AI will impact you personally and/or professionally? If so, how do you plan to be prepared?
Connected By More Than Chinese Food. Connected By Humanity & Respect.
May is Asian American Pacific Island Month (which prompted our conversation below about Jews and Chinese food), but we should treat all our fellow Americans with respect and kindness every day.
|Have you ever wondered why Jews love Chinese food so much?|
|No, but what prompted that? Did you take in Chinese food this weekend? Or, did President Biden signing the anti-Asian hate crimes bill make you think about how Jews can relate given all the antisemitism in the world?|
|Only you would connect those dots. I was straightening up papers in the kitchen and noticed how Chinese takeout menus look the same as they did when we were kids, and how we've laughed over the decades about how much Jews love Chinese food. But now you've reminded me about how we've recently talked about the recent increase in hate crimes against the Asian community . I simply don't understand how people can hate an entire group of people based on race or religion.|
|You are the history lover. It is not a new phenomenon. And, the reasons have not changed – Ignorance, prejudice, feelings of supremacy; the list has many "reasons". What I find scary is that people form stronger bonds with others based on what they hate than they do on what they love. But, there is no question that the Asian community and Jews have experienced hate for a long time.|
|I know, but in America of all places, that just shouldn't happen. Ever. We're a country built on immigrants, and the contributions of Asian Americans and American Jews have been so significant. From scientists to doctors, artists to activists, the list goes on and on.|
|The lists of contributions can be sliced and diced in so many different ways – gender, race, religion, nationalities. There are not enough months in the years to celebrate them all. However, some groups tend to be forgotten or overlooked, which is why President Carter signed the first proclamation celebrating Asian/Pacific Americans , which eventually led to May becoming Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. But now, with hate crimes increasing against them, celebrating by learning about their cultures is even more critical.|
|Well, I admit that I personally didn't know any Asians before I lived in Hong Kong, and then Shanghai, several years after getting married. Until then, all I knew was that I loved Chinese food. I know that might sound condescending, but that's not how I mean it.|
|No, it sounds like you just did not have any personal experience except for enjoying the food. And, except for dating Raman Sehgal, who was from India, when I was a graduate student at NYU, my experience before moving to Houston was basically the same as yours.|
|Sorry, but I can't keep track of everyone you've dated. Anyway, I learned so much about the people and their culture when living in Asia. It made me realize just what a young country America is and how many countries have so many more centuries of history than we do. And there I was the outsider, and although I might have been seen to be different, I was never disrespected in the way Asians are treated here.|
|A redhead in Asia. I bet you stood out like a sore thumb. Which is the problem they face here. Identifying Jews is a little more challenging, but that does not stop antisemitism. There was a very interesting article that interviewed Asian American Jewish leaders , asking them to share their experiences.|
|I never thought about being Asian and Jewish! But that explains the Chinese Kosher restaurant in Queens I used to go to when I was a teenager. I couldn't figure out why there was such a thing, but the food was so delicious I never gave it any more thought. Until now, when I realize Asian Jews must have run it.|
|I appreciate that food, and people, get "Americanized" over here, but what did you think about authentic Chinese food?|
|It's very different from American Chinese food, but both are delicious! They each have their own unique characteristics and flavors, and although very different, I appreciate them both, and there will always be a place for each in my culinary world!|
|Just as there should be a place for "different" people …|