In Sydney last week, I was excited to see (from an upstairs window) a girl, blindfolded, with arms outstretched, waiting. For hugs. From people who resonated with what her sign said.
I rushed down to meet her, but by the time I’d arrived, her blindfold was off and she was taking her sign down. She didn’t mind that I asked her what had inspired her to spend the afternoon there, with a sign (see video) declaring who she was and an invitation to hug her. As I approached her, 2 men also came over, enthusiastically introducing themselves as ones who’d seen her earlier and hugged her when she was blindfolded. They had to get to a Ferry in 4 minutes, so I quickly started a facebook live video (gaining everyone’s permission of course). I love that they thought it was “lovely, a good cause, a bit of connectedness”.
Wow. It’s what the world needs more of. Connectedness, and looking for things we have in common, not things that we disagree on. Maybe some people would see her sign, and not resonate with “I’m a christian” but align themselves with her statement “I’m not racist”. Maybe some thought it was just great that someone’s offering Free Hugs.
I commend Viviane for her brave and beautiful social experiment. She was so happy – and her happiness was contagious :)
In Do Talk To Strangers – How To Connect With Anyone, Anywhere, I wrote about stepping out of the comfort zone and “scaring yourself a little”. It doesn’t have to be as scary as standing blindfolded and offering hugs, but any little step beyond our everyday activities. On the other side of a little uncertainty or awkwardness can be great rewards. If you haven’t accessed the free resources where you’ll find an in-depth interview & a few chapters of the book, click here and enjoy :)
I’d love to hear your stories of connecting! I’m beginning the next two DO Talk To Strangers books; a Travel Edition, and the Connecting Cross Culturally Edition. I’ll be inviting readers to contribute some stories, so do let me know if you have a story you’d love to share. Let’s keep reaching out, connecting with others, and discovering a world of opportunities and the amazing feeling of making someone’s day with a moment of connection, encouragement and kindness.
Cheering you on,