Would you ever hug a total stranger… and mean it!?


I mean a real hug where you are open and vulnerable and sharing your energy with someone in need.   One day I did.  This is my story and my contribution to 1000 voices for compassion.

We have become so disconnected in today’s society.  Touch (healing and soothing and sharing of energy) is something many of us have come to fear, especially from strangers.  We are compassionate to a point, and for many that point is compassion from a distance.  A safe distance.   Where do you draw those lines?  They are drawn in different places for each of us based on a myriad of reasons not the least of which, is the fear of being vulnerable ourselves.  I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and follow it and my gut with ardent fervor.  Sometimes this gets me into all sorts of mayhem, but most times it’s just the right thing to do. 🙂

One day my wife and I were returning from some errands in town and as we exited our vehicle in the driveway… we saw a young woman (I would say between 17-20) running down our sidewalk sobbing uncontrollably.  Without thinking I ran down the driveway to see where she was going.  My wife was right behind me with the same thoughts in her mind.  The young woman was almost to the corner already and even that far away we could still hear her sobs.  With a voice of authority that I didn’t know I had… I yelled to her “Hey…Come Here!”  To my surprise she turned and ran straight toward me.  Again without thinking I opened my arms and in seconds her broken, scared, wounded energy collided into mine.  I held her… and I whispered as she sobbed that it was going to be okay… she was going to be okay.  She sobbed and sobbed, but I could feel the transfer of hope as the sobbing began to fade.  We took her in the house, gave her some water and we let her make a phone call.  We don’t know who she called.  We didn’t ask what exactly was wrong.  We just offered her a safe place for a moment and a lifeline to whomever she needed to connect with.  She did, and she was grateful.  We offered her a ride, but now feeling better she chose to walk to her nearby destination… and poof she was gone.  We have not seen her before or since that strange encounter.  Some might say we were foolish to intervene on her behalf.  I know in my heart that she was somebody’s baby and I couldn’t leave her broken and vulnerable to whatever predator she might encounter before she could pull herself together.  I hope if I am ever that broken and vulnerable that someone would have that same kind of compassion for me.  I am not saying we should hug total strangers on a regular basis, and you definitely need to be careful who you invite into your home.  What I am saying is use your best judgment.  Sometimes a hug and a phone call can change someone’s life, and for us that day it was worth getting involved. There are so many little things we can do that can make huge differences in our little sections of the lily pond, and those ripples will have a much farther reach than we can imagine.  Make the world a better place..hug someone today..anyone…and mean it! 🙂

More from 1000 Voices speak for Compassion

1000 Voices for Compassion: A Stranger held me in the street

1000 Voices for Compassion: Wearing glasses tinted with judgment

38 thoughts on “Would you ever hug a total stranger… and mean it!?

  1. wavesofgrain94

    Your story blew me away. You must have appeared like an angel to that girl. This is one of the greatest examples of Christlike love that I have ever seen. Why is it do you think that people nowadays are so hesitant to express this much kindness to everyone? Why are we all so afraid of being vulnerable?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think people are afraid of being hurt or taken advantage of. I wonder sometimes what she thinks of that encounter…how she remembers it? It profoundly impacted me.. that’s for sure and in a good way. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and commenting.


  2. My first thought when I read your title was a tongue-in-cheek, “No way, Jose! Not this introvert.” But then I realized that’s not really true. I have hugged strangers in the realm of my professional world when it was all I had to offer. And I think what you did for that struggling woman was a beautiful and kind act, one I suspect she will always remember. So I guess the answer as to whether I would hug a stranger or not is a surprising but resounding yes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my God Dani. You’re going to have to read my compassion post (putting it up later) – ‘A Stranger Held Me In The Street’. To tell the story from the other side. Thank you for being the person who will reach out to a stranger and say it’s all going to be all right.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: 1000 Voices For Compassion: A Stranger Held Me In The Street | Sara Litchfield

  5. Jen @ Driftwood Gardens

    I am a hugger too, and while it can make some people uncomfortable I’m sure that young lady will never forget the feeling of safety she had in your arms. You did the right thing and this is a shining example of the compassion that is so needed in this world. YOU are part of The Village!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my gosh, Dani. This was so lbeautiful and ovely to read. I’m not one for easily give hugs to strangers, but it really depends on the situation. And it reminded me of a little boy that was sitting in the metro with me and my mom. He was crying so, so much and it broke my heart. He was probably around 8-9 years old. My mom had tissues and I gave him some. We asked if he was okay and he just nodded, while the tears fell down his face. He obviously wasn’t, but he didn’t want to tell. We just kept an eye on him, asked if he wanted to call someone, but he just shook his head and stared outside. He eventually stopped and got out of the metro. I’ve never seen him again, but I’ve wondered for a long time if he was okay and why he was crying so much.

    You’re one of the kindest and sweetest people that I’ve met and reading this only confirms it. 🙂

    Big hugs! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TJ, you are such a sweet person it’s easy to see why the memory of that little boy crying haunts you.. it would haunt me too cause I would always wonder? I kind of shocked myself a little that day… but I truly didn’t even think about it until after… I just acted. I just went with my gut. I still tear up when I remember it. I am always so happy when you visit my blog sweet TJ. Thank you. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I should visit more often, Sweet Dani!! I’ve been all over the place lately and been sick too (that’s why I’ve replied SO late! 🙂 ) I think situations like this charge you on a different level. It kind of energizes your soul, you know? It’s amazing when you can do that for another human being. 🙂 xo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. cindy

    i have not heard that story before but i loved it. it actually brought tears to my eyes. that is who you are though and another thing i love about you. i am not a big hugger. i didnt grow up that way but living at the l house helped me get over that a bit but i never really have hugged a stranger. a very touching story dani. thank you for the read and for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: 1000speak: Wearing Glasses Tinted With Judgement. - The Whimsy Art of TJ LubranoThe Whimsy Art of TJ Lubrano

  9. Oh how we miss you sweet Cindy here at the L House. Those were some very fun times. I am starting to capture some of my memories/stories in my writing. Maybe that’s the only way they don’t totally disappear when I do. lol Always so happy to see you here. xoxo


  10. Kristi Campbell - findingninee

    I am most definitely a hugger and toucher and your story warmed my heart. There have been times in my life when similar things have happened (none quite the same) and I acted too slowly, or didn’t act, and the memory of the people haunt me. Now that I’m older, I so hope that I would also run after that girl, holler at her to stop and open my arms to her. I think I would. I’d want somebody to do that for my son, were he blindly running while sobbing. Great #1000Speak story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would hope that too if it were any one of my own children. It’s hard to say what we would do in any situation I guess. I would not have thought I would do that if you had asked me before hand and I thought about it. LOL I just followed my heart without thinking. Maybe sometimes we need to do more of that. 🙂 Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.


  11. Wow! What that hug must have meant to that young woman! Such an amazing story and a valuable lesson so perfect for #1000Speak and for every day. I know there have been times when I have seen people in despair or need and I have helped at times. I don’t know that I’ve ever hugged someone I don’t know but I’d like to think I would if the need was there.
    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story, Dani!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sandy, I only know she was in much better shape when she left us..and I wasn’t worried then that she wouldn’t reach her destination. 🙂 I am sure you would if you knew it was needed. You write such lovely words Sandy.. I am enjoying your blog tremendously. Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere. 🙂


  12. So, so lovely, Dani. You and your wife did the wonderfully right thing. Offering kindness when most would have just looked and went on with their day. She was lucky to cross paths with you all.

    I am not a hug huger – I only prefer to hug a few select but I hope I would have done the same if I was in a similar situation. Personally, I don’t turn to many when I am need – perhaps I too am afraid of the judging but truthfully I am more fearful of them not caring, I suppose. It’s easier (for me) to remain silent than be brave enough to ask for help in most situations.

    The same happens more often than not in society when it comes to connections between strangers. But I hope with each random act of kindness, more are propelled to reciprocate to the world. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Katy. There have been times I wanted to act and didn’t and I am so glad that I/we did that time. Sometimes life happens faster than you can think. 😉 I too, am not one to ask for help a lot, but I have gotten better at it. We get by with a little help from our friends. I do think that random acts of kindness are contagious in the best way. It’s so good to see you Katy. I hope you are well. xo


  13. I just loved reading this, Dani. Sometimes words create barriers. Sometimes the simple, and yet complex, act of opening your arms and heart to someone makes all the difference.

    What a blessing you were to that young woman. May she one day pass along that hug, infused with love, light and heart.

    Blessings to you,

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Between the Heart

    i just…love this post. it’s heart-warming to know that there are other people out there like me that are FULL of compassion. cheers to being: forevercompassionate.

    peace & love always, all ways. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, had no idea I had missed your comment. Thank you so so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here. I always try to respond. Peace and love to you and yours always as well. 🙂


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