Be the Cause

Free Hugs – Houston

I can’t help but notice the initial resistance many of us encounter in the course of our genuine pursuits, however big or small, to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others. One can see this pattern repeating itself through out the history of mankind, and it’s frustrating. Just take the guy from the Free Hugs video for example. His genuine intention to reach out to someone and hug them met with so much resistance that the Free Hugs was banned at some point. However, inspired by his courage, conviction and the value of what he was doing, people signed the petition to lift the ban, and the Free Hugs are now taking place in many parts of the world.

This past Saturday, five of us (me, Ash, Naz, Lin and Jayselle) set out to experiment with Free Hugs ourselves here in Houston. We too faced a great deal of disapproval from many of our friends and family. As we walked the streets of Rice Village with signs in our hands that read Free Hugs, we got many “no thanks,” “that’s cute,” “what’s the catch?” among other similar reactions from the passer-byers whom we wanted to reach out to with open arms in the spirit of brightening their day. We even got some strange looks and comments because we were all females, but we figured our intention was pure and that’s all that really mattered.

Not only there was this external “resistance,” but we also had our internal conflict to work on. From the time when we were contemplating the idea of Free Hugs to the point when we actually met up with the signs in our hands, all of us experienced a certain degree of doubt, fear and nervousness. It was so easy to have been discouraged had we not each other. We also realized that once we over came this initial phase of difficulty, things were different. One of the first things I notices was that I was smiling from the core of my being. That courage and strength that initial led us to go out on the streets started to deepen and expand. It didn’t matter what anyone thought of us; hugging felt like just the right thing to do. It was so exhilarating to walk around hugging anyone who accepted our hugs that we have decided to do it again. This time it’ll be in the heart of Texas Medical Center where many people from around the world come for treatment. Who knows, a hug might be one the most beneficial treatments they may receive.

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