I confess I knew nothing about the Free Hugs Campaign despite it being in my own country (one of the few drawbacks of not listening to regular news and current affairs shows... you can miss the soundbytes on the really genuinely cool stuff :))
Apparently 'Juan Mann' (pronounced One Man) has had some controversy over his Free Hugs Campaign. He was ordered to stop hugging strangers in the street and buy Public Liability Insurance!
People get touchy about touch!
It's such an intimate thing to physically touch another... and the hug is probably the ultimate form of touch you can do without sex necessarily being involved.
But as this brilliant article says...
There's something uplifting about this story. Along with the video, you get the "warm and fuzzies" and find yourself cheering this guy who reminds us of the simpler pleasures; of the sweetness that life and letting others fill it can bring.and...
We live in a world where violence and violent acts are becoming normalised. The producers of the new James Bond film see fit to cut the superspy smoking a cigar but not images of him killing people with a smoking gun. We are shocked and appalled at sexual imagery and intimacy (Margaret Whitlam's comments about Janette and John Howard holding hands, for example), but take death, pain and the destruction of human life in our stride.
Yes! We do tend to tolerate violence and the art of cruelty and yet we crave the power of loving touch whilst at the same time frowning upon any public display of it.
We're desperately confused about this. We have over-simplified touch in the violent forms of its expression and yet over-complicated touch in its loving and peaceful expressions.
Juan Mann could change the world and clear up the confusion perhaps, with a hug. There is a gentle and wonderful hope in that. So... for once there IS a Good News story to celebrate and embrace - literally! :)
I'd like to be Juan Mann too :)
Thanks to GBC for showing me the link to that clip (and some of the articles too :))