Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com


Nov 2 additions to the free hugs campaign news item list


These are not necessarily new items as of Nov 2. But they showed up on my google alerts today or I just found them today.


Article (in English) in a Persian journal - http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_18492.shtml

Article from emedia. http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2006/10/emw451739.htm

Note - The article below is confusing the Juan Mann/Sick Puppies YouTube Campaign with the company in Atlanta when it says this..

The campaign for Free Hugs has become popular on several user-generated sites to become the most watched videos currently on the web.


How free hugs won stardom for pair who needed a break

Free hugs priceless in a culture of violence By Karen Brooks Oct 4 (back up copy)

http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=4049 Oct 19


October 07 2006 at 04:04PM

The Free Hugs campaign that has caught on in recent years in several Western countries has arrived in Taiwan.

Yu Tzu-wei, a 22-year-old student from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, walked around downtown Taipei on Saturday offering free hugs to strangers.

Holding a placard with the words "Free Hugs," Yin approached passengers by and asked them if he could hug them. While most people ignored him or ran off, some accepted his hug and walked away smiling.

Yu said he wants to hug everyone in Taiwan to spread the message of peace and to build a harmonious society. On Saturday, Yu had hugged around only 200 people. At that rate, it will take him 315 years to hug Taiwan's 23 million people. - Sapa-dpa



Back up copy of How free hugs won stardom for pair who needed a break


How free hugs won stardom for pair who needed a break

ONE man was lonely and seeking happiness using a sandwich board offering “free hugs”. The other was broke, but dreaming of fame for his rock band.

Their chance meeting in a Sydney shopping mall sparked an unlikely partnership that has propelled the duo to stardom and international acclaim via the internet.


Juan Mann, a 21-year-old café worker, had seen his engagement broken, his parents divorce and his grandmother taken ill. He decided that the only way to lift his depression was to give away hugs to strangers in the Pitt Street Mall one afternoon a week.

Shimon Moore, 20, whose band Sick Puppies was struggling for recognition, had a job he loathed and mounting bills, but never gave up hope of the lucky break. He watched as strangers read Mann’s “free hugs” sign and was moved to take up the offer himself, asking, as most did of Mann, why he gave away the hugs.

When Mann said that he simply wanted to make others smile, Moore decided to make a short film of his new friend in action. That was two years ago. A month ago Moore posted the grainy black and white film on youTube, the self-broadcast website, using his band’s song All The Same as a soundtrack.

By noon yesterday the film had been watched by a worldwide audience of 3.8 million — making Mann the fastest rising star ever to be posted on youTube and propelling Sick Puppies to the airplay they had always dreamed of.

The band have already won a recording contract and a debut album is due out before Christmas.

Mann, meanwhile, was flown out of Sydney at the weekend for a guest appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in America. Despite his new-found fame he remains darkly philosophical about his prospects. “The spotlight will shine for a while but it will fade in the end. It’s exciting, but my life is just going to carry on as it always has,” he said.

Moore had almost forgotten the footage. However, when Mann’s grandmother died, Moore was moved to edit the shots in his bedroom and send the film to Mann.

“There I was feeling really sad and down and I open my mailbox one day and he has sent me this little CD with the video clip and a song he’d written for me,” Mann said.

“It wasn’t created for any reason except to make my mate happy again,” said Moore. “And it just wound up growing into this thing that has now made everyone else happy.”

YouTube has created past instant celebrities such as Lonely Girl, whose frequent video posts about her life generated a large following until she was exposed as an actress seeking work. A rival website, MySpace, is credited with propelling the band Arctic Monkeys to early fame, and the singer Lily Allen also built up a following on the internet.

Free hugs priceless in a culture of violence By Karen Brooks

October 04, 2006 10:00am
Article from: Font size: + -

DID you know that in New South Wales, Monday (a public holiday there) was declared a day of hugging?

This wasn't an official pronouncement; rather, it was made by an advocate of the Free Hug movement.

Last week, the creator of this movement, a young man going by the pseudonym Juan Mann, was elevated to the dizzying heights of global celebrity.

Video footage of Mann pacing Sydney's Pitt Street Mall about a year ago, holding aloft a sign stating "Free Hugs" and set to the poignant All the Same by the Australian Los Angeles-based band, Sick Puppies, was uploaded on to the video-share website YouTube.

In cyberspace, every second counts. It took only nanoseconds for news of the video of Mann's campaign to spread. Appealing to the inner child in us, the video was shown on Good Morning America last week. Now, the site is registering close to 1.5 million hits and many thousands of positive comments.

So, what was at the heart of this young man's campaign to brighten the day of city slickers – those so preoccupied with work and the fast, heady pace of contemporary life, they forget to stop and smell the roses?

According to Mann, after returning from a trip overseas, he noticed how sad everyone looked and basically wanted to brighten their day. To him, a hug was the natural antidote to the stress and alienation that burdens urban workers.

Although people were reluctant at first to approach this tall, lanky man with a promise, it wasn't long before his invitation caught on. Casting suspicion to the wind, young and old threw themselves into his arms, keen for what we so often forget we need in this hi-tech day and age – human touch. Either we forget or, for fear of being thought our actions will be misconstrued, we avoid.

But Mann didn't think about how his intentions might be interpreted, he embraced his fellow humans. And they thanked him for it.

Then, Sydney City Council decided that this generous young man could cause irreparable damage. Insisting that he buy $25 million in public liability insurance, the council demanded he stop.

Undeterred, Mann collected 10,000 signatures on a petition and now his hugging movement is free to continue to bring smiles to those drawn, harried faces of the city.

There's something uplifting about this story. Along with the video, you get the "warm and fuzzies" and find yourself cheering this guy who reminds us of the simpler pleasures; of the sweetness that life and letting others fill it can bring.

The past few weeks have been defined by memorials, tragedies and death. Steve Irwin's life so swiftly taken; Peter Brock, gone. The beloved Colin Thiele, passed away. September 11 and those agonising images replayed again and again.

Senseless violence fills our news. Matt Stanley, only 15 when the life is kicked out of him; a 16-year-old is charged with his murder.

We live in a world where violence and violent acts are becoming normalised. The producers of the new James Bond film see fit to cut the superspy smoking a cigar but not images of him killing people with a smoking gun. We are shocked and appalled at sexual imagery and intimacy (Margaret Whitlam's comments about Janette and John Howard holding hands, for example), but take death, pain and the destruction of human life in our stride.

What sort of society are we devolving into?

We've become so desensitised to aggression we no longer think twice about letting young children play computer games that encourage them to shoot, maim and kill. I watched a seven-year-old boy I know approach his mother with a gruesome game under his arm, rated MA.

He asked her permission to play it. She gave it willingly, disinterestedly even.

When I pointed out its rating, his mother said: "Oh, it's all right. He's only killing aliens."

"I thought it was the killing that mattered," I responded.

Apparently not.

I'm reminded of the movie True Lies, when Arnie Schwarzenegger's character, who's been hiding his identity as a spy from his wife of many years, admits he has killed in his line of work, then hastily adds, "Yeah, but they were all bad."

When they don't look, talk, act or worship like us, then, it seems, they're deemed to be bad (different) and their life is not so important.

For a culture that doesn't cope well with death, we seem to hold life so cheaply.

But just as you begin to despair, along comes a young man with a big heart and YouTube, technology that spreads goodwill like a virus and gives us what we need in these dark times – a hug and a smile.

All it took was Juan Mann.

Which just proves, hugs aren't for free, they're priceless.