To quote Lana Del Rey, we are a bunch of “degenerate beauty queens”. It’s unfortunate that our generation is so warped into this dehumanizing way of life. We live in a world where we give people weird looks when they wave to us or think someone is being creepy when they’re just smiling. You let a car go in front of you and, 89% of the time, you don’t even get a thank you’ wave. We spend more time on our phones than we do having an actual face to face conversation. When was the last time you started a conversation with a stranger? If you go into a doctors office nowadays, all you see is everyone on their phones. I think the lack of verbal and physical human interaction has caused us to become these stuck-up Miranda Priestly (Devil wears Prada [Meryl Streep’s character, the snobby bitch]), where it’s all business, all the time. I was becoming this Miranda-Priestly-zombie until I went to the NCSL leadership conference in Arlington, VA and met some amazing people. One of them is Tom Krieglstein (I had to google his last name because I definitely butchered that!), who was the MC of our conference. He brought the FREE HUGS campaign to our attention and it really sparked something inside of me.
He showed us this video that shows a man walking around with a sign that says, “Free Hugs” and him walking around hugging strangers. I got a bit emotional watching it because I thought to myself, “how sad is it that there are not more people like this out there?” I turned to my gal pal, Sarah and said “THIS IS MAKING ME SO EMOTIONAL!” After hearing the story of Juan Mann, it didn’t take much to get me on board, nor did it take much to get my fellow student senates to join in as well.
While we were waiting for the time to board our flight, we spent an hour walking around and holding the “FREE HUGS” signs and this was the reaction we received:
This inspired me to start this club with my friend called, PaK which stands for “Positivity and Kindness”. Our mission is to show that with very little efforts, you can make a positive imPAKt [punny!] on lives through simple acts of kindness. Movements such as FREE HUGS, cost nothing but you can see from the video that this made a lot of people smile. The world is already cruel enough. If more people went out there and tried to make it a better– then maybe people wouldn’t be so bad. This also motivated me to donate my birthday for a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. Pencils of Promise is something that I believe in because I see education as an absolute necessity in changing the world. Some people don’t share my views but I truly feel that if everyone is educated than there would be less ignorance and therefore better judgement. Who knows, there could be a child out there who will be able to cure aids one day, or a child who will one day become a leader that says NO to war–all that child need is an education. You can totally support this effort, and give me the best birthday present in the whole entire world by donating here.
Follow PaK on twitter : @jointhePAK