I’m spending a mini-vacation with my husband in Ojai, California, and met this “Gutsy” man at the Farmers’ Market on Sunday morning.
He seemed friendly and gentle, so I had to find out:
Why was he offering “Free Hugs?”
After we hugged, I had this burning desire to interview him. I needed to find out the: who, what, where, when and why?
The first thing he said was, “I have the best job in the whole world.”
That struck me as odd, and I started thinking, “Is he getting paid to hug?” if so, am I supposed to donate money. I don’t see a hat or a box on the ground for collecting coins, besides it does say, “Free Hugs.”
Something strange happened to me during our hug. I started thinking how one simple hug can connect two strangers. Imagine if we could start a hugging revolution, and transform the world.
There’s something special about a hug; it bonds humanity.
After receiving a warm hug, I asked him more questions.
“I hear so many stories from people I hug,” he said.
“Can you give me one example,” I asked, always looking for a good story.
“This morning a woman collapsed on my shoulder and told me her husband passed away last Wednesday. She said she longed for a human touch.”
I thought about how this man shows up every Sunday from 10am-1pm to comfort lonely people, some who are grieving, others who are longing for a human to show they care. He does have an important “job.”
The man told me there’s a worldwide movement to give, “Free Hugs” and that I can Google it. So I did when I got back to my room at the Blue Iguana Inn.
I found this video, and explanation of the “Free Hugs” worldwide movement.
The Free Hugs Campaign is a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public places. The hugs are meant to be random acts of kindness – selfless acts performed just to make others feel better.
I think you have to be “Gutsy” to stand on a street and offer “Free Hugs.”
Are you Gutsy enough to give a stranger a “Free Hug”?
Merry Christmas to all of you.
My Christmas gift was a nice surprise from the London Book Festival, where my memoir received an honorable mention under Biography/Autobiography