On the last day of my stay in Zanzibar, I was looking for something to get for a friend. There were beautiful handicrafts, strange fruits and many other things to choose from. But, I wanted to get something that my friend would look at and feel what I was feeling. I saw a painting which attracted my attention. The painting had all I wanted, beautiful buildings of Zanzibar, its broad sky, the relaxing ocean and a calm lady who walked in the stillness of the painting as if nothing could upset her peace.
I was told the prices might be more for a tourist, so I practiced in my mind what I wanted to say and very confidently asked ‘hii, ni bei gani?’ (how much is this?) The seller told me it was ninety dollars. After some bargaining, he told me he wasn’t the owner and that he does not have the permission to sell with the price I wanted. I asked him to tell the owner to come. When the owner came, I told him if he give me a discount I would buy another painting too, he didn’t accept. Then I told him I would give sixty dollars and a hug and that this was my last price. He said what? I said, sixty dollars and a hug. He smiled, I hugged him and the deal was done.
I am not trying to say that next time you want to buy something you should hug the seller. I want to talk about how a hug can do what so many words cannot. Sometimes, when your friend or your partner is upset, when she has heard a bad news or has been hurt by someone, all she need is a dose of love given to her through a hug. How many times have you tried to calm someone by your words and failed. Sometimes, you even become upset because you thought you are doing a good job and she is not appreciating. It does take courage and love to calm someone by words, but it needs more love and courage to remain silent, offer a hug and listen.