Tuesday, August 21, 2012

More Free Hugs

In early July, Central Michigan University LeaderShaper Vincent Thurman shared with us the start of his "Free Hugs" campaign. Now he is back from a multi-state tour with an update and some lessons learned...

Hello again LeaderShape,

My journey of free hugs was amazing. I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of reaction I was going to receive. With nerves and excitement, I travelled to Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and a few other states along the way. My largest response to Free Hugs came in downtown Houston.

Along the way, I learned a few lessons: 1) Regardless of where you are, people are willing to give hugs, 2) something simple and genuine can make anyone happy, 3) when you give you also receive.

I’d like to highlight the second and third lesson for a moment. When the actions you take are genuine, they are received openly and are deeply appreciated. I was asked, “Why are you doing this?” from many people and I replied, “Sometimes people just need hugs.” After replying with those simple words, people seemed happier and more willing to give hugs. Simplicity and genuineness are two qualities that I continue to strive for and they have paid off along the journey.

The third lesson, when you give you also receive, is a lesson I’ve known for quite sometime. However, this journey has helped me gain an entirely new appreciation for such a simple phrase. When you give a hug, you receive a hug in return. It is an experience where what you give is immediately given back to you. When we give, we don’t always receive the return we expect right away, but the initial return is the satisfaction felt after you give something away freely. It is invaluable to give to someone who can never give back to you in the way that you have given to them. 

No comments: