"As I say the words, I realize how true they are. And maybe that's the trick to getting through it, through life: realizing that everybody, including ourselves, is lugging around some kind of screwed-up baggage. Maybe we are put here to help each other carry the loads." - Lisa Ann Sandell, A Map of the Known World
A couple of years ago, Juan Mann set out on a mission to brighten people's day with the simple act of a hug. He took to the streets armed only with... his arms and a giant sign that read "FREE HUGS". Of course, this became a massive YouTube phenomenon, and as a result of its popularity, there have been many adaptations of the campaign throughout the world. His official website can be found here along with a video that showcases his interactions with the public - some turning away but many jumping to the occasion.
I adore giving and receiving hugs, especially from someone I haven't been in contact with for a long time. And, if welcomed, the random stranger every now and again doesn't hurt either. The feel of someone throwing their arms around you, enveloping all that you are in the act of a physical embrace, has the power to change your day - complete with the feeling of being loved and wanted. All of us living on this planet can always offer more than just that of our own selfish desires at any given time. We all have the ability to help and support one another with their 'baggage', no matter the weight of our own.
And according to my Twitter feed, it is National Hug Day here in Australia. How fitting! Have you given someone a hug today?