Today while walking to my Chemistry Lecture class, I had to walk past a small group of people hanging out in a spot that seems both popular and oddly inconvenient.... As I was passing, one of the individuals looked up, angled toward me, stretched out his arms, and asked me if he could have a hug.
"A hug?" I repeated back shrugging. "Sure!"
We hugged very briefly, and I was on my way.
This is what I would like to discuss from this experience:
My initial reaction to this was to think how things like this don't really happen that often. I was sad for how our society has de-evolved. How people live their lives so closed off, and distrusting. I mean, how awesome are hugs? This individual totally brightened my day. How awful a concept it is that people are guarded against a gesture as simple as a hug, or how much courage it would even take to offer a complete stranger a hug.
But the more I reflected on this... I had to change my mind. Why? Because there was one little fact that I have yet to mention. Something that is, in present day, otherwise nearly insignificant. (And with hope someday will be completely insignificant.) The man that asked for /offered this hug, is African American.
So, I have to revise my original statement on our society disintegrating. Because as rare as a stranger giving another stranger a random hug may be today, a short 60 years ago, two complete strangers, a black man and white woman, randomly hugging in a crowded public place, would have been next to unfathomable.
Maybe it's a glass half empty/full thing, but I have to acknowledge the vast improvement on this one point at least. We may have a long way to go. We may be backsliding on other aspects. But how amazingly awesome is it that our society has come so far on righting at least this one aspect?
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