Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com
A link to the band who plays the music for the video (see the news section)
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Nov 2 - Second set - New website http://www.freehugscampaign.org/
Nov 1 - Third set -- My more general comments
First set of additions: Juan Mann on Oprah -- Korea video -- - Confusion between Juan Mann and Jason Hunter -- - YouTube banned in American High Schools? -- Poland -- Police stop hugs in China -- More hugs news stories
Oct 13 - Hugs in high schools?
A guy in Sydney, Australia made a big sign that says "FREE HUGS" and he started giving people hugs. Then he was banned from giving the free hugs, and then he got 10,000 signatures to overturn the ban.
Free-hug man speaks out
The man behind the latest YouTube sensation has spoken out for the first time
about his global cuddling controversy.
Serial hugger Juan Mann describes the free hugs he hands out in Pitt Street Mall as fast-food emotion.
His cuddling campaign received an
international dose of publicity today, after a clip showing his
public displays of affection won a coveted front page spot on the
video sharing website.
An American television audience of millions also watched him at work, when the video was broadcast on the prime-time breakfast program Good Morning America yesterday.
Today, the hugger was at it again, brandishing his "free hugs" sign in the busy pedestrian thoroughfare, and having quite a few people take him up on his offer.
"It's a way to make people smile," Mann said.
"For every person who gets a hug, you see five walk past with a smile on their face."
Juan Mann (pronounced one man) is a play on words, but the hugger insisted his rules included no names, no phone numbers, no relationships and no dates.
The hit video came about after a meeting - and a hug - more than a year ago with the lead singer of the Sick Puppies, a Sydney band made up of three former Mosman High School students.
The singer, Shimon Moore, was working odd jobs by day and playing gigs by night.
"I was one of those guys in Pitt Street Mall with a sandwich board advertising a shoe sale," Moore told smh.com.au today.
The two became mates, and Moore borrowed his father's video camera to shoot footage of the hug man at work.
But his efforts to spread the love became a little too popular for some people's liking, according to a blurb on the YouTube video, which said: "As this symbol of human hope spread across the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs campaign BANNED."
Undeterred, Mann collected more than 10,000 signatures on a petition he presented to the City of Sydney council. Demands for a halt to the hugs petered out shortly after, and the end of the clip shows Mann hugging an official.
Speaking by phone from Los Angeles, where the Sick Puppies moved a year ago, the lead singer said he mixed the video with their song All The Same as a gift for his friend, to lift his spirits after his grandmother died.
It had the desired effect. Four days ago, the band posted the clip on YouTube. By 3pm today, it had close to 700,000 hits and almost 6000 comments, most of them gushing.
Like this one: "Made me cry. I love you all!"
The musician said the video had taken Mann's mission worldwide.
"He's achieved what he set out to do and I was lucky enough to be there to film it," Moore said.
There are even plans for a mass free hug-fest at midday on Monday, which could come in handy if the Sydney Swans don't win the premiership.
City worker Elly Mitchell, who handed out a few free hugs on her lunch break today, said she was inspired to organise the event after seeing the video online.
"We're going to hug the city," Ms Mitchell said.
A City of Sydney spokesman Josh MacKenzie said he could find no record of rangers asking Mann to move on.
"In fact, the feeling around the office is one of support for his campaign to spread a bit of happiness and love in the CBD," the spokesman said.
Asked if he had accepted a free hug, the council spokesman said he hadn't.
"But I'm sure council staff would welcome the opportunity to have a hug," he said.
The Question that was Deleted from Yahoo
As of today, Oct 13, the number three link when you search for "Free Hugs Video" on google takes you to this link:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061001222057AAjSY6p ... where it tells you the question has been deleted! lol
So I looked into the google cache and found the offending question... Here it is
Free Hugs video?
Has anyone seen the Free Hugs video on YouTube? It is awesome!!
Go Figure! What the heck is wrong with that question? Well, I don't have time to read the Yahoo rules. But if you find out, let me know!
Would the Free Hugs man be allowed on the sidewalk outside of a public high school in Australia?...
...or what about in your country?
Here is something from an old editorial I wrote in 2003 when I was living in Australia
About two weeks ago I was talking to some high school students before school started. I was asking them about the school rules for hugging. They told me it was not permitted --not even on the sidewalk in front of the school. Two couples were trying not to be seen been holding each other as we spoke on the sidewalk. I told them I thought that was ridiculous and said people need to be hugged. They said someone had gotten in trouble for just holding hands. I was astounded. I asked how old they were and wondered if they were just very large two year olds. They were 16. Legally old enough to live on their own in this country, (Australia) but not allowed to hug or hold hands with their boyfriends/girlfriends while on school property or even on the sidewalk, which I am pretty sure is not technically even school property.
As we talked it was clear they had never met anyone like me. I could tell how desperate they were have someone listen to them and empathize with them. But a school authority figure came and told them that they had to get inside, saying "You know the rules." I saw the pain in their faces. Some of them were literally behind a fence while others were on the sidewalk. One young man behind the fence looked like he had been abused. He just had that look. He was desperate for someone to listen to him. Truly desperate. Yet they were forced to leave. Well, they weren't physically forced. The threat of punishment was enough. After years of being threatened and punished, and seeing punishment all around them, they knew it was easier to just obey the voice of authority without question.
While I stayed a few minutes longer to talk to the two some of the friends who did not attend that school, the school authorities called the police.
Today, in 2006, I was chatting with a high school student in the USA, a country which likes to boast that it is the Land of the Free. She told me students are not even allowed to touch each other or they will be punished with "detention" - -also sometimes called "In school suspension" or ISS. And if you don't serve your time in detention you get kicked out of school for two days.
It is almost a sure bet that the idea free hugs would be totally forbidden in the high schools in Australia, where the city officials now look so foolish for trying to ban free hugs on the street. And they would also be forbidden in the USA.
So I ask again, why do we accept different standards for the treatment of teenagers? Don't they have needs to be hugged just as adults do, if not more? Do we think hugs are healthy for "adults" but not teenagers?
I wonder what the world response would be if the free hugs man shot some videos of high school students in Australia and the USA being stopped from hugging.
I hope that we will see this in the near future so the world can see what is really being done to teenagers in some countries which claim to be models of freedom.
Oct 13, 2006
ISS - In school suspension
YouTube Banned in American High Schools?
Can a high school student in the USA watch the Free Hugs videos at school on his or her free time?
Today I was told by one high school student in a public school in the USA that YouTube.com is banned totally.
Please let me know if you can watch the free hugs videos in your highschool and which country you live in.
Please also let me know if you can hug your classmates in the school.
Nov 1, 2006
Hugs unite us
Nov 17 update
I wrote this in my journal today. "Religions divide us. Hugs unite us."
Then I checked google to see if I could find "Hugs unite us". Here is what I found
S. Hein Nov 3, 2006
Nov 17 update
Today I checked google again for "Hugs unite us" and this time I found two results. The first one is mine and the second is from this site...
http://www.fotolog.com/bb_am/?pid=17703276 where I am cited by the artist and photographer who found my quote. I feel a little encouraged by this. I would like to see more people connect the words "hugs unite us" with the videos in a step towards a more united world, free from the divisions of race, religion and nationality.