Random acts of kindness

Just when you thought the world was in huge trouble, you see an act that give you faith in humanity. I truly love those moments because so often we see these negative things on Tv: rape, murder, suicide, and hatred.

Yesterday I was with a friend of mine, talking his recent slip into some rather unfortunate circumstances. He told me I could blog about yesterday’s events, but I’ll protect his identity for now. If he wants to out himself, he can do that through commenting on this post. He cast some pretty bad lots and was lamenting not having been hugged in a long time. I suggested, in a tone of mirth, that he walk through Ho Plaza (where each student passes at least once a day according to the campus tours) with his arms outstretched in a hug shape and see if some random person hugged him. He responded that he would find that unsatisfactory because he wouldn’t know the person. He may as well just walk up to some random person and ask for a hug. At least one person, he claimed, would comply. While I disagreed people would hug on command (I certainly wouldn’t!), I didn’t say anything because there are always bozos out there that will act irrationally when compared to normal social protocol.

We left the subject to work on our homework and project for the upcoming week. We spoke of many things, but we did not return to the subject of hugs. I certainly did not want to bring it up because I have no pleasure in seeing others suffer. He didn’t want to bring it up because he’s not a sadist. (Well, he’s a bit sadistic in the way he loves to code…but that’s a different story)

An hour passed and we completed all the work we needed to do for this weekend. We both got up to leave and packed up. As we walked through the hallway, we passed this female college student who had been about two desks away from us in the hallway. She stood up to hug my friend, and, I was dumbstruck. I automatically assumed they knew each other and she was bidding him goodbye. Then my brain began to work again and I realized that she was responding to his lack of hugs. She was very nice about it and had such a big smile on her face. I commented, “that’s very nice of you,” My friend was a little pessimistic about it, but given his circumstances, I don’t blame him.

“It’s nice, but not the same,” he proclaimed.

As we walked out, I said, loud enough for her to hear, “That was very nice of her.”

Because, when you think about it, it was VERY nice of her. She had no idea who my friend was and didn’t have any reason to hug him. She just saw another human being who had a need and then sacrificed to fulfill his need. What did she sacrifice? She put herself out in the open and made herself vulnerable to him. I’m glad she did. I know that the odds are EXTREMELY slim, but I hope she reads this. Whoever you are, thank you for doing that for my friend. I hope you have planted a seed of hope within him.


2 responses to “Random acts of kindness”

  1. I also would like to thank the person who gave me the hug (yes, the person is me… Eric’s sadist coding buddy). While I was a bit pessimistic (it isn’t exactly the same), I certainly appreciated the random act of kindness.

    As I was telling Eric, if I asked some people for a hug (mostly refering to friends), I would probably get, say, one in three people to give me a hug. The reason why this isn’t the same is because I asked. The hug was prompted by something I did and/or said, not out of a genuine desire to give me a hug. When the girl gave me a hug, I was certainly appreciative (since the conversation that prompted it was 1.5 hours earlier). I did say “[it’s] not the same”, but she responded “but you didn’t ask” which was true. In that regards, it made the hug more genuine, and I truely appreciate that.

    For 15 months, I was used to getting at least one hug a day. If my, now, ex-girlfriend wasn’t around, one of her/my/our friends (now only her’s) would give me a hug just because we gave each other random hugs. It is the small things that I miss the most, and this is one of them.

    So again, I say, thank you to whomever you are.

  2. Super Mario Brothers theme by the LSO is great. Those of you who read Eric’s blog and haven’t listened to it should download it an listen to it. All the themes from the orginal NES and SNES game appear in the orchestral score.

    BTW, this is the first (well, second) time I have successfully posted a comment to Eric’s blog. The problem I discovered relates to how I read the blog. I use Thunderbird to read Eric’s RSS feed, and Thunderbird loads the appropriate post when I click on a subject. Unfortunately, the page loads with the comment box et al, but you cannot actually use the box. I have written comments and pressed submit, but Thunderbird (being a newsreader and not a browser) has problems handling the form and the links. My comment is usually lost in the error. The solution: copy the link to the post into Firebird and then post a comment. Ideally, there should be a way to do this automatically (or automagically if you are 476 inclined).