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