Are You Gutsy Enough To GIve a Stranger a Free Hug?

Learn about the "Free Hugs" movement and how we all need that human connection.

During the holidays I had a mini-vacation with my husband in Ojai, California, and met this "gutsy" man at the farmers' market on a Sunday morning. He seemed friendly and gentle, so I had to find out:

Why was he holding a sign that read "Free Hugs?"

First I hugged him, then I decided 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?" and  if so, "am I supposed to donate money?" I didn't see a hat or a box on the ground for collecting coins—and besides, the sign did read "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 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to comfort lonely people, some who are grieving, others who are longing for a person 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.[1] The hugs are meant to be random acts of kindness - selfless acts performed just to make others feel better.

I do think you have to be "gutsy" to stand on a street and offer "Free Hugs."

What about you?

Are you Gutsy enough to give a stranger a "Free Hug"?

Sonia Marsh is a “Gutsy” woman who can pack her carry-on and move to another country in one day. She’s a motivational speaker who inspires her audiences to get out of their comfort zone and take a risk. She says everyone has a “My Gutsy Story”; some just need a little help to uncover theirs. Her story, told in her travel memoir Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island, is about chucking it all and uprooting her family to reconnect on an island in Belize.

Sonia has lived in many countries – Denmark, Nigeria, France, England, the U.S. and Belize – Sonia Marsh considers herself a citizen of the world. She holds a degree in environmental science from the University of East Anglia, U.K., and now lives in Southern California with her husband, Duke.

Sonia welcomes new friends, bloggers, writers and readers at Soniamarsh.com (http://soniamarsh.com) Contact her at: sonia@soniamarsh.com www.facebook.com/GutsyLiving or Twitter.com@GutsyLiving

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Charles January 04, 2013 at 03:37 AM
I give free hugs all the time, when it is convenient and almost always to people I know. I don't have time to idly stand around and give free hugs to strangers.


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