Tuesday, October 03, 2006

::: Hug a Stranger :::

Free Hugs Campaign ~ The Story of Juan Mann
Run Time: 3 min 39 sec
Original Format: Mini-DV
Creator's Page: Free Hugs Campaign on MySpace
Related Links: Music by Sick Puppies

This is the story of one man who was inspired by his own loneliness to do something great for humanity. Juan Mann decided that he was going to give himself a gift by giving to others- after all, if you can give it away, you must have more than enough to go around. One day, after arriving home in Sydney, Australia and feeling like a tourist in his own hometown, Juan Mann wrote a sign with black marker on a piece of cardboard: "FREE HUGS" was all it said.

If anyone ever told you that one person has no power to make a difference in the world, take a risk and hug a stranger and then see how you feel.

"I found the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held that sign aloft, with the words "Free Hugs" on both sides.
And for 15 minutes, people just stared right through me. The first person who stopped, tapped me on the shoulder and told me how her dog had just died that morning. How that morning had been the one year anniversary of her only daughter dying in a car accident. How what she needed now, when she felt most alone in the world, was a hug. I got down on one knee, we put our arms around each other and when we parted, she was smiling... Everyone has problems and for sure mine haven't compared. But to see someone who was once frowning smile even for a moment, is worth it every time." -Juan Mann

Apparently, the city of Sydney thought the free hugs campaign was a risk to public health. So it banned the free hugs. Juan collected signatures and, well, *power to the peace~full* is all I need to say. A bit more on Juan and his plight here:

And yeah, I got a little misty this morning when my new friend on Zaadz gifted this video to me. It touched me in that sweet, fuzzy place that I sincerely believe resides in every human. Thanks, Juan, for reminding us that teeny-tiny acts from the heart can catalyze huge amounts of inspiration and change.

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