posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 04:00 PM
Now this is something we should all take a minute and read.
Free Hugs On YouTube
Not to focus on a negative, but I'll attack this one first. The man in the clip was approached by the police since he was considered a threat to the
public. The man is holding a sign that reads, Free Hugs!
, and we consider him a threat. Makes you wonder.
He had 10,000 people sign a petition to have him considered safe to society and then able to continue with his mission.
Someone who is willing to stand out on the corner holding this sign and randomly hug strangers is top notch in my books. You can just imagine the
ridicule they would face from ignorant people who look down at him as they pass. But it appears none of that matters as the smiles on the face of
others is enough to outweight it.
This is like a small forum of, Paying it Forward.
Has anyone actually hugged a complete stranger?
So what does everyone think? Is this a positive influence on others or just some wacko with nothing else to do?
Here is some history on the Free Hugs initiative from Wikipedia.
The Free Hugs Campaign appears to have begun in 2004, and was widely publicized in 2006 by a music video. It involves individuals who offer hugs to
strangers in public settings. The campaign is an example of a random act of kindness, a selfless act performed by someone for the sole reason of
making others feel better. The original organizer has stated in interviews that the purpose is not to get names, phone numbers, or dates.
A video on YouTube was released on September 22, 2006, and by the October 30, 2006, had gained 4,529,303  views. According to the video summary, it
was recorded in Sydney, Australia. In the video, the main character who is giving out hugs, (identified as "Juan Mann", a pseudonym), walks
through the Pitt Street Mall holding up a sign with the words FREE HUGS written on it. Music for the video is provided by Sick Puppies, an Australian
band that "Mann" met a year earlier. Shimon Moore, the lead singer of the Sick Puppies who worked at the mall, shot the footage which he later
compiled into a video for the song.
Initial distrust of Juan's motivations gives way to a gradual accretion of people willing to be hugged, with other huggers (male and female) helping
distribute them. After some time, security guards, then police tell them they must stop, as Mann has not obtained public liability insurance for his
actions. Mann and his companions then began a petition which reached 10,000 signatures. At that point, the security guards walk away, but not
before being hugged by some of the participants.
Intentions of Free Hugging
Although no stated beliefs are readily found about the intention of Juan Mann (other than to give out free hugs), there are certain threads that
underly Juan's actions. These can be summed up like such:
1. Freehugs are gender, class, height/weight, race and age neutral ie anyone. No restrictions can be placed.
2. Freehugs come from a giving space, hence free.
3. Freehugs can be done anywhere at anytime, by any number of people
Freehugs are often misunderstood as a chance for the hugger to sexually touch the huggee. If this is the reason for freehugging, it is no longer
I'm interested to hear everyones opinion on this. Personally, I think this is a great thing people are doing. The smallest interaction with a
stranger is more than enough to turn our day around, and the commitment we are seeing from these people is extraordinary.
I look forward to your responses.