A long LONG time ago, in reaction to me not being into hugs or public displays of affection in general, a dear friend of mine said this, "People cannot live without the human touch." I thought long and hard about that one and came to the obvious conclusion, "yeah, that's true." I imagined a really lonely person; don't know why or how she got there, but she feels isolated. The days and years pass and she lacks the comforts of another person's (or even animal's for that matter) touch. In essence, most of us can relate to this person and the feelings of loneliness. It's a sad state of affairs but what can we do about it?
Then comes along the Free Hugs Campaign to answer this quandary. This movement all started in Australia 2004 with one man who goes by the pseudonym "Juan Mann" (cute coinkidink, huh?). While dealing with issues of sadness during a trying time, Mann returned from overseas. He longed to be back in someone's waiting arms but found no one there upon his arrival. With this earnest desire and equipped with only a large cardboard having the words, "free hugs" handwritten on it, Mann proceeded to offer, well, free hugs. Mann's act was even documented on film and clips were used in the music video "All the Same" from the band Sick Puppies (see below)? His popularity grew so great he also appeared in Oprah.
Juan Mann in Sydney
Now an international phenomenon, these random acts of kindness is a testament to the human soul. It's so widespread that even in places like South Korea where PDAs is seen as immodest, especially by the older generation, you will see the Free Hugs Campaign in full swing (see video clip below).
Jinwoo Shin in Seoul
Who doesn't want a hug? Dammit, I can use one right now going through this writing hell. So go out and hug a stranger. Make sure you can run real fast in case they become irate. When could you have most used a hug and why? Please share your thoughts.