‘Free Hugs’ anyone?

Have you ever seen someone holding a ‘Free Hugs’ sign? If so, what was your reaction? Did you go up to the person and get a free hug or did you simply ignore them?

Today, my friend Andrew Abraham and I happened to walk by a tall old man who was holding a single piece of paper with the words ‘Free Hugs’ on it. We were amongst a full Sunday afternoons crowd traveling in all directions on the shorefront between the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. I didn’t realize what this man was doing until after we walked by him and I told Andrew that I wanted to go give him a hug but didn’t. Then we continued to joke at how maybe if I was holding the sign I would be getting more hugs the he was.

Now as I travel on the train back to the show grounds at Olympic Park, I have decided that I am going to hold my own’Free Hugs’ sign tomorrow at the Sydney Royal Eater Show and count the number of hugs I get/give in one day! I’m actually looking quite forward to this because as over 100,000 people will be visiting the show my goal will be to share this simple act of kindness with at least 100 individuals!

This also reminds me of the effect that we can have on one another by giving a simple smile or acting polite and respectful. A good friend of mine, Kathy Radke, told me that she challenges herself every day to make at least 3 people smile/laugh in which one of those has to be a stranger. If she’s in a less than happy mood that day then she challenges herself to make 5 people smile/laugh and two of those need to be strangers. How awesome is that?! And the funniest part is that when you make others smile/laugh then that means you are usually smiling or laughing too!

Have you ever realized that if you find yourself in a less than happy mood then all you really need to do is something kind for someone else?

Please let me know if you’ve decided to take on ‘Kathy’s Challenge’ and share your experiences. I can’t wait for a full day of ‘Free Hugs’ tomorrow and lets hope security doesn’t throw me out!

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