You wanna wug?

A wug! Today, our TEDx team coined the term that describes what we do in prison to show connection, appreciation and love. What’s wug you ask? A word-hug!! Explanation: Hugs are not allowed in prison. It’s not always the easiest thing to accept when we connect deeply and humanly with one another. And yet, this rule has its reasons for existing.

So, most of the time, we “hug” by hugging ourselves. We “hug” by placing our hands on our hearts. We “hug” by saying things like “consider yourself hugged.” And we talk about the day we will give each other hugs, which translates to the day the Donovan men walk the streets again.

But no actual hugs, with arms and heart-to-heart contact, as long as the men are dressed in blue. Over the past year, the TEDx team has developed a hug replacement, and today it was coined… a wug.

To receive a wug, a person stands inside our circle to be acknowledged by everyone else with a single descriptive word. The person is wrapped in an energetic hug of appreciative and loving words that shine the person’s inner brilliance. Its power is tremendous as each person is authentically seen and honored. And it’s often quite overwhelming to receive the truth that is reflected to us.

As long as we cannot hug, we embrace the power of a wug!


(Drawing by friend Leah Pearlman from Dharma Comics)