Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys remind us how powerful hugs are

Sloane Stephens won her first U.S. Open tennis title over the weekend. She did so by defeating her best friend, Madison Keys. Here is what happened after the match ended:

Of course, they hugged. That’s what best friends do, right? Well, hold on there Mr. or Ms. Cynical von HardofHeart. Stephens and Keys hugged for a full 19 seconds. Who was the last person you hugged for 19 seconds?

I don’t mean those weak side hugs or an arm around the shoulder. I mean when was the last time you gave anyone a full-on-chest-to-chest-arms-wrapped-around-their-back-hug? We really don’t hug our kids and spouses all that long when you think about it. We hug them a lot, but we don’t give them long hugs. It gets weird after five seconds or so, even if the other person shares your last name.

People get concerned about how others will view them and not consider the person they’re hugging cares more than any onlooker. Hugs physically and emotionally close the space between us. With their embrace, Stephens and Keys let each other know that nothing comes between them – not this game, not this trophy, not this check, not these people – nothing!

The world could really use a few more hugs these days.



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