Kindness Challenge Day 1: Give a Hug to Everyone You See!

This is Day 1 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get together in spirit to do 14 acts of kindness over 14 days. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Kindness Challenge tasks and posts.

Join the Kindness Challenge!

HELLO!! Welcome to Day 1 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge!! :D

Over 550 560 570 580 Participants AND COUNTING

I’m floored by your responses. As of Nov 1, 4:30am (GMT +8), there are over 570 580 participants right now, and it’s increasing by the MINUTE. We are making history guys. Never before has there been a kindness challenge conducted by a personal development blog/platform (that I know of), much less one that is gaining as much traction (both in user response and in the media) as this one.

If we exceed 650 participants, we will overtake 21-Day Journaling Challenge (held last year, in Nov) as the third largest challenge to be held at PE. 30DLBL (Live a Better Life in 30 Days) and 30BBM (Be a Better Me in 30 Days) Challenges remain as the largest challenges ever to be conducted on PE and in the personal development blogosphere, with over 1,200 participants registered each.

I know many of you reading this are probably latecomers to the challenge and have not registered yet. Do not fret—you can still register now and be a part of this movement. Sign up now for the challenge:

Day 1: Hugging


Isn’t hugging a wonderful act? It’s one of the physical expressions of love from one person to another… be it between friends, lovers, family members, or strangers.

I love hugging people. I love being hugged by others too. For those of you who read my parental series before, you would know that I had long wished for an open relationship where we would hug each other and express our love for each other openly. (I later came to terms with state of the relationship when I grew older, as I had shared in Part 3: Revelations and Happiness.) Physical touch, along with words, is definitely one of my languages of love.

I feel that hugging is the best ways to express your affection and love for another. Happy to see a friend? Hug him/her! Want to express your affection for someone you just met? Hug him/her! Want to let someone know that you are there for him/her? Hug him/her! Hugging is actually the default treatment I give to everyone in my life today, unless deemed inappropriate by social or cultural contexts.

Well, today, your task is to give hugs to people around you! :))

Your Task: Give a Hug to People around You!

For the kindness tasks over the next 14 days, there will be some tasks that come in two levels.

The first is Level 1, the basic level. It denotes the minimum action you must do as part of your commitment to the kindness challenge.

The second is Level 2, the advanced level. It consists of the actions you should do if you want to be a true beacon of kindness to the people around you. Given that all of us are here on PE, Personal Excellence, I reckon that we should all put our best foot forward for the challenge and go for Level 2 where possible, don’t you think? ;)

With that said, let’s get started!

Level 1 Task: Hug 3 People

Hug 3 people you see today.

Make each hug a nice, BIG, WARM, JUICY one.

Be sure to throw in a nice snuggle while you are locked in the embrace!! :D

Level 2 Task: Hug EVERYONE You See Today!!

Hug EVERYONE you see today.

Yes, everyone!!! Think you can do that?? :D

I dare you to hug EVERYONE you see today (or as many as you can, given that there might be certain contexts where it is not appropriate, say in a board meeting with your CEO… though I’m sure you are going to make quite a strikingly positive reaction if you dare to do it!), and keep a mental note of the number of people you have hugged.

Then, at the end of the day, post the number of people you managed to hug in the comments section

Share Your Results!

Who did you hug today? How did you feel when hugging them?

For those who pushed yourself further and tried to hug as many people as possible… how many people did you end up hugging?? :D

Check out the responses of other participants in the comments section!

(I’m going in for a live interview with UFM 100.3 today (will be talking about the Kindness Challenge!), so I’m going to waltz into the radio station and try to hug as many deejays as I can find!! Will update my results in Day 2’s post!!)

Update July 2013: I was featured on a local documentary, Soul Sisters, about inspiring women following unconventional paths. As part of my episode, I carried out Day 1 of the Kindness Challenge to a grand scale — hugging people during the busy lunch hour at the Central Business District of Singapore! I had many interesting experiences and lessons that day.

Read about them here: The Day I Went Around Giving Free Hugs to Strangers.

After you are done with Day 1, proceed to Day 2: Give Up Your Seat To Someone.

Images: Open handstedeytan

  • Luvena

    I was with a group of 20 people the whole of today — so as of now, I have hugged about 24 people – but no strangers. That was easy.. but over the day, I realised that some of the people needed a hug for no reason every now & then.. it was so fulfilling.. :)

  • Cary

    I have hugged five people so far… I just started college so I still don’t know too many people yet, and it was just kind of awkward hugging those five (except my brother) so I just did it kind of jokingly. I knew if I seemed too serious I’d probably just weird them out (since we don’t know one another too well yet).

    Still, I think it’s a great way to set the tone of relationships as affectionate and to make hugging less awkward for later on!

    • Daria

      I think that’s so true Cary that today’s task will help us in making our relationships with others stronger even if the act itself is simple on its own. I also think it was brave of you to hug others despite the awkwardness! Today I didn’t go to my college so I’m safe for now :D But you did inspire me :) Thank you :hug:

  • Daria

    First off, hugs for everyone :hug: including trees :p
    Today I didn’t even complete level 1 of the task but the little that I did felt good.
    After reading today’s task I only saw mom and dad (excluding complete strangers in the street), so I hugged them both and gave them extra kisses :D
    BUT this isn’t over … I want to reach level 2 or at least 1.5, so I’ll see if I can do it in the upcoming days :)

    • Bette

      Awesome about the tree-hugging. :D
      Trees, rooted in the Heaven of Earth (the Heaven that is also under our Mother’s feet) stretches out in the wild Blue of Infinity. :angel:
      Another Tree-Hugging Being, :hug:
      In Love with Trees, :heart:

      • Daria

        What a beautifully poetic description you gave there, Bette :hug:
        May trees always find huggers :D :hug:

  • lucy

    just finished giving my mum a relaxin pedicure(foot massage) felt so gud :)
    came home from work had only eaten breakfast was so hungry found mum at home lunch already prepared ….gave ha d biggest hug of d day :)
    could see she was tired, she was kinda sick when i left in d mornin….
    guess my givin ha a foot massage was my way of sayin “tnx MUM” :)
    i enjoyed every bit….

    • Daria

      I believe that heaven is under our mothers’ feet … it was so kind of you Lucy to give your mom that massage :hug:

      • Bette

        “Heaven is under our Mother’s feet”…SO beautiful… :heart:
        Heaven in all its glory support dear Moms EVERYWERE!! :angel:
        BIG :hug: Daria

        • Daria

          Thank you Bette :hug:
          And just to be perfectly honest and clear, it’s not something I thought of myself but it is something that I deeply believe in :heart:

  • Robin

    As of right now, I have task #1 completed. I hugged three people at work today and sent out several virtual hugs to people I won’t be able to see today because of the distance between us. When I was thinking about this task last night, I wasn’t sure I would be able to accomplish it, but it feels great that I did. One of my co-workers is doing the challenge with me and I’m excited about spreading kindness at work!

  • honey erna

    yes its true ,,,and when you hug to someone its have a different feelings and its shows love and to those starnge in our place its very nice because its shows them to welcome….

  • Lisanne Wilcox

    Started off by hugging all my co-workers, I think they are getting used to me now they just roll their eyes at this stuff but I see the smiles as we hug. Nobody said no so that’s a good sign.

    As for the rest of my contacts, I did virtual Hugs to all I dealt with via technology.

    Felt great to be warm and fuzzy with the rainy day we have here and it seemed to lighten up everyone’s day!

    Also was great to surprise my sales contacts with. :)

    Big Hugs to all you!

    Lisanne Wilcox

  • Fufu

    Who did you hug today?

    Today’s challenge was a total shocker for me when I saw it since I’m the type of person that used to consider hugging as something rude since I used to believe you should only do that with your boyfriend/girlfriend but those beliefs changed last year when my girlfriend showed me how hugging was something friends do and that it’s nothing to be afraid of. The only reason I was afraid of hugs was because I used to think people had evil intentions behind me or that people that hugged me only saw me as girlfriend material and not as a friend.

    When I woke up I told my mom, sister and little brother “It’s hug day so you all owe me a hug” and I hugged them 3 and my 2 dogs but I was sure I would only be satisfied if I got 3 hugs at school. I actually took an extra step and wore a sweater that has a cute panda face with a big sign on my tummy saying “FREE BEAR HUGS”.

    At school I got to hug 2 friends who are guys. The first one we were talking in the morning when I pointed to my shirt and said “Free hugs. Now you can” (Since I didn’t let people hug me last year I said it like that so he understood he had my permission to hug). The second one was at lunch and I knocked on his table and said “You owe me something” so I point at my shirt and he hugs me. I wanted to try out more people but I’ll look at the positive. I hugged 5 people and 2 dogs :)

    How did you feel when hugging them?

    I’m personal so I’d rather not hug many people but if it’s somebody I trust then I’m ok with hugs. When I hugged my family I was casual and felt comfy and happy. When I hugged my dogs it was so cute since I love my dogs<3 and when I hugged my 1st friend I was a bit awkward but ok with it and when I hugged the 2nd friend I felt a bit uncomfortable since he has a crush on me

    *As a side note I said good morning to my 4 friends I normally don't say hi to and said good morning and hi to my librarian. (something not so usual with me).

    *A disappointment today was that when I asked my girlfriend if she hugged at least 3 people she said no so that made me a bit sad since I was looking forward to it :( but this is how usually people are so I won't take it personally and just let it go and respect her feelings. :/

    • Fufu

      I forgot to mention that I contacted another guy that’s a friend from another school if he could see me today(to get a hug and to hang out a bit) and he said he would check but then it got cloudy with thunder so he wasn’t able to but I’m at least satisfied with my effort and dedication to the challenge through the day :)

  • Bette

    Hey and a Big Hug to all my fellow-Huggers! :hug: SO good to be here with you!!! :D
    And thanks for all your hugs! :heart: I feel duly SQUEEZED in the best possible way!!! :D

    I saw a dear friend and a new friend and when I hugged the new friend, I gave a particularly warm and loving hug and said kind words she loved hearing, and when we finished hugging she said, “You just got rid of my headache!!!” I felt really good to hear these words and have our loving, healing hug have such an instantaneous impact!!!

    When i hugged other friends, I felt very warm and loving and giving, but also I was aware of receiving love and warmth. Giving truly IS receiving :heart:


    • ASLO

      Aww Bette….so good to hear from you again :heart:
      And true said, a hug really does work healing wonders…. :hug: :hug:

      • Bette

        THRILLED you are here Aslo…you have never been far from my heart, mind, and soul! I have looked for you in the forums…I’d like to stay in touch in between our “meet-up’s” here on PE…BIG HUGS!!!
        :hug: :hug: :hug:

  • Yvonne

    Today, I encouraged my son, as an act of kindness, to invite his ex mother-in-law to his daughter’s fourth birthday party. He agreed. I gave my son a big hug,via the telephone, for honoring my request.

  • Gail

    I was having an OFF day today. I didn’t see anyone until late afternoon, and a friend dropped in. We were havung a conversation, and I said” can I give you a hug, just for being here”. She was surprised, and happy as well.

  • Hallmmmy

    Today I hugged one of my students who really needed it. I also hugged each one of my 3 precious children and my amazing husband. I’m not sure who benefitted more from these – them or me! I also sent a caring email to one of my classes of students. It was my metaphorical “hug” to each of them. :heart:

  • St. Boniface Community and Development Group

    HI Celes and co-team:

    I am not a “huggy person” but I tried my best with someone, who just arrived from my country, were I was born…. I call this a one (1) Human Being Hug. The easiest one is my one and only (1) Pet Being Hug…he, he, he. The rest of my friends did as much as they can. Thanks for the challenge.

  • Faby

    I did not see the challenge till after i had seen my friends but i was able to hug my family. The best hug was given by my baby brother :heart:
    * its weird how the date says november 2 when i am still living in november 1st. ;)

  • Victoria

    I had a really hard time with this day 1 challenge. I hugged 3 people today. My boyfriend on his way out the door this morning, my daughter when I dropped her off at school, and a coworker of mine. I find my personal space very “mine”. It sounds greedy. If I could get passed it I would hug everyone I could. Hopefully Day 2 isn’t a challenge to accomplish. Have a nice Thursday night friends! :)

    • Bette

      Hi Victoria,
      How ’bout a cyberspacial hug? :hug: :D
      I hear you about “personal space” being one’s own, keeping it all safe and sound for oneself….And yet, I have found how expansive it can be to broaden my circle when I open myself up with these generous, magical things called ‘HUGS”…how a loving attitude of generosity and kindness spreads a warm and healing energy. :heart:

      As I do more hugging, it feels more natural, and when I do it with the intention of being kind and loving and it makes a big difference….more meaningful. It took some practice to also really receive the hugs from the other person…to really let them in.

      Oh, and also, some people just barely get close at all…like an “air” hug… barely touching, like they are scared or afraid they will catch something! :(

      Verrry interesting to observe and participate in all this!

  • Emma Ennis

    I saw the first task and I immediately thought, eh… You see, I’m uncomfortable with hugging or telling people, ‘I love you’ too much because, when either is needed most, if it’s given too much, the meaning is lost. So I said I definitely wasn’t going for level 2 (especially because the first person I saw today was my boss and we’d gotten into a lot of trouble the night before.
    So I said I’d do level 1, and just give three random hugs. But I wasn’t really content with myself in that decision. So in the end I decided I’d make a level 1.5 and look out for people who seemed like they really needed hugs, and give them.
    I had hugged two friends before this decision because I hadn’t seen them in a while. The first after the decision was a regular from the pub I work in, who can only be described as a pest, but he found out he had cancer last week. The next was a friend who had broke up with another friend and I’d avoided the situation because I was caught in the middle, but he was hurting. Next, a colleague who has been obviously lost in the fog for years, and believe me, hugging this guy is not okay! Next an acquaintance who recently broke up with their partner, and last, but not least, a long term friend of mine, who had betrayed me beyond belief, who I’d been talking to since, yet we both know the old friendship will never be back.
    Of the 7 hugs, 3 responded in tears.
    It was worth reserving the hugs for those who needed them. And I learned to open my eyes and look around for people in pain. Now that, is a lesson learned.

    • Bette

      Wow Emma, I found your post really moving. You say a lot, There really is a lot to this hugging thing. Yes, there are certainly times when hugging is not appropriate (for me) and then there are times when I am hesitant but go for it, and it turns out to be a healing experience. It takes just such a few moments …and when well-intended…wow…a beautiful experience can happen.

      One just never knows what may be going on underneath someone’s exterior…and how much a hug can help out so much…
      Life just gets more interesting….

      I am grateful to hear about your sensitivity and perception, Emma, and how you follow your intuition.
      :hug: :hug: :hug:

  • Maggie

    I hugged everyone I saw today, granted it was only about ten people, they all got hugs. I am usually a hugger, so I do this on a regular basis. It makes you feel good to hug people, especially those you care about.

  • May

    I hugged a few of my friends today, just a normal “hello” hug.

    I saw this challenge (day 1) a bit late :(, but I’m all geared up for the day 2!

  • Qin Tang

    Well, I didn’t grow up with hugs, which was actually very common in China at least during my years of growing up. My parents loved me and still do, but they didn’t hug me.

    Among the 5 love languages – word of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service and physical touch – physical touch is not my primary one, so hugging is not a natural part of my daily life. I usually don’t take the initiative to hug others besides my kids, though I am fine with hugs from others.

    Today I did intentionally hugged my kids. They are both in their teens and are taller than I.

    For an act of kindness, I made food for a friend who I know has been very busy to cook for her family.

  • Netta

    I actually didn’t leave my home today, but did have the chance to hug several important people. This isn’t extremely unusual for me to hug people I care about. I, of course, hugged both of my daughters several times today. I also hugged my boyfriend several times. Actually, he isn’t a touchy type person, so this was a nice challenge.
    My sister came to visit and I hugged her. This is also nothing new.
    I did get to challenge myself some though because my sister’s son, who is 16 year old came by my home. He had with him a close friend, also 16. I took the risk to cause both of their faces to turn red and hugged them each! Much to my surprise, they both returned the hug!
    Although, I did only hug 6 people and most of them are used to my hugs, I also hugged a couple people that I normally don’t hug. I enjoyed this challenge and think remembering to embrace people should be a daily habit.
    Thank you, Celes!! :heart: