Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Love Is Blind. So Are Free Hugs

Now that Stella is four, I am finding that life’s lessons seem to be needed day to day. Gone is the time when a mom’s love was the only thing that mattered — in its place, is a curious child who tests limits and wants answers.

Because of this, I always try to embed what I can in our daily activities. Maybe it is a little talk about kindness or teaching her empathy when she steals her brother’s Crayon. Perhaps it is talking about perseverance when she gets frustrated and wants to give up.
I often feel like maybe these little speeches wouldn’t be needed if there were more examples of these things in front of her. While I know there are good people in the world, it seems as though what little Stella sees is from those who are doing things that she has learned not to do.

“Why did that man not say excuse me when he bumped into you mommy?”

“Why are those people not talking nice to each other?”

“Why did (so and so) say to (such and such) that she was ugly today?”

Whether my little one is such a whistle blower or she just has a watchful eye, it often saddens me that she sees more of what is wrong than the beauty in what life can be.

I came across a video that I wanted Stella to watch. The video is of a man, Ken Nwadike, CEO of Superhero Events, who goes out to running events, stands on the course, and offers “free hugs.”

The “Love Movement” touches me for a number of reasons. First, I am a runner, and have been in many running events where I could have used a hug from someone. Second, when watching the videos, things like racism don’t exist. Nobody sees or thinks about color, fear, or gender. People see a genuine kind act and they go for it! Men and women cross over to jump into Ken’s arms for their free hugs.

These are the things I want Stella to see. I want her to see someone, a stranger to most, who takes his time to go and spread love to people. I want her to know that everyone deserves love and kindness no matter what age, gender, or color. I want her to know that random acts of kindness touch people forever and that she has the power to do that.

Whether you want a teachable moment or just want to feel good. Watch “Free Hugs” from the San Francisco Marathon last weekend.

Free Hugs San Francisco Marathon HD from Superhero Events on Vimeo.

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