Hugs are Free…and so is Peace

“Free Hugs!”

The young man held up the rainbow colored sign announcing the availability of a warm embrace.

“I’d love one!” I exclaimed, and instantly I was encircled in the arms of a tall stranger and allowed my head to fall right into his chest.  I felt completely loved by someone I didn’t know.  It was a little piece of heaven.

I thanked the young man and hug took my seat on the green grass of Washington park with 300 or so other people to watch the cult classic Hairspray, and indulge in some Graeters peach ice cream topped with pecans.

There were straight couples, gay couples, a few drag queens, homeless people, poor people, rich people, black people, white people, I’m sure some purple people too.  It was a melting pot of the human experience lit up by lightening bugs and a peaceful harmony and a big movie screen.

I dug my bare toes in the grass, still filled with the warm fuzzy of a free hug, sweet peach in my mouth, enjoying a fun quirky musical about acceptance, inclusivity and tolerance, surrounded peacefully by 300 awesome spirits.

While the world often seems a place of pain and heartbreak, when the news feeds us daily pictures of death and terrorism; I am particularly grateful and touched by this evening.  It proves that we can live in harmony with each other.  We can sit down in the grass on midsummer night and revel in the pleasure that is peaceful acceptance and tolerance of our fellow person.

It can be done.  It must be done.  We must do better as humans.  Peace is achievable through simple actions…..something as simple as…

a hug.



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