Monday, October 16, 2006

Free Hugs!

Any walk through Harvard Square almost certainly produces at least one solicitation for spare change, for the Spare Change newspaper, to sign something, to give money to the DNC (funny how you don't see the RNC out there), or something. This evening, though, the solicitors were replaced by a girl (probably a freshman) seemingly giving something away ... hugs. She was just standing there near the Pit with a bright orange sign stating simply, "FREE HUGS." As people walked by, if they didn't respond to the sign, she would ask, "would you like a hug?" I'd never seen something like this before, so I stopped and observed for 5 minutes. During the 5 minutes I watched, the girl managed to give away 12 hugs (it seemed like she was trying to give them away, but I guess one could argue that she was actually soliciting the hugs). Most people just ignored her or shied away, but the 12 people who engaged her seemed quite happy to give/receive the hugs (and it was roughly 50-50 men-women huggers). So it seemed like she was successful at boosting the collective mood of those passing through the Square.

"Observing" indeed. Hey man, you need to lay off the freshman hug girls...
Thanks Dave. I was counting on such a comment. I would have been disappointed had it not been posted.
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