I have joined a group called Free Hugs Vancouver, based on a movement started by Juan Mann in Sydney Australia. The concept is simple but the effects are monumental.
We made signs with the words, "Free Hugs" on them and went to the front steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery and gave free hugs to any who wanted them. There were 4 people with signs when we arrived and I had brought 3 of my friends with me. By the end of the day, there were 20 of us, staggered up and down the streets.
I must have hugged over a hundred people in the course of a few hours. Some were quick, and others lingered. Some told stories and we chatted for a bit. Some were visably moved. Many were amused or happy and went away with a smile. Even those who did not stop often passed with a smile.
If asked what we were doing or what we got out of it, I simply said, "We are trying to make Vancouver a more friendly city." Because for all the talk of "world class city or "funcouver" we could really use some more friendliness and consideration for people from all walks of life.
If you are interested in being part of a Free Hug campaign, here are a few places you may find out more:
The next two Free Hugs are Saturday December 2nd at 1pm on Granville Island
and Sunday December 10th at 1pm at Grandview Park on Commercial Drive.
Come to hug or be hugged!