Howdy everyone, and happy new year! We hope you’ve had a wonderful start to 2017 and that the coming seasons treat you well. We wanted to kick off our year of change with a positive focus, so today we’re going to take a closer look at the Free Hugs Campaign.
This unique campaign began with the inspiring story of Juan Mann, who, upon returning to his hometown of Sydney after years away in London, felt lost in seeing the hugs exchanged by loved ones in the city’s airport arrival terminal. As a result, Juan decided to stand in a busy pedestrian intersection, bearing a cardboard sign reading two words: “free hugs”.
Juan describes the initial reactions of the passersby he encountered in the Sydney street:
…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.
Since then, the movement has received increasing popularity across the globe, and acts as a constant reminder of the fact that at the end of the day we are one human family, and as members of this family it is our responsibility to look out for each other and surround one another with positive energy.
To find out more about Juan’s movement, and to spread his message of positivity, you can visit the Free Hugs Campaign website here.