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

  • ugi

    Hello everyone, and warm hugs to you all,

    My day was quite a long one since one of my dear friends had an engagement party, so I was lucky I met my friends whom I did not see for a while, and shared very warm big and long hugs with each of them. Difference from other times was I aimed to be completely aware of the moment I hugged them and it was really rewarding, feeling the warmness right in your heart and soul. Besides my friends I gave and received a warm hug from my friend’s mum, which was great, a mum hug always counts!

    I am quite a “hugging” person already, but I have to accept level 2 is still a bit too much for me. So I admire friends joining this challenge who are able to achieve this :bow: . I may start slowly I guess, maybe I can hug someone I do not know but I am introduced to, and later on move on to complete strangers, never say never…

    See you all in Day 2 comments!

    • Bette

      Hi ugi,
      Like you, I do so love those “being- fully- in -the- moment- with- awareness-heart -and -soul” hugs too… :heart:
      Such a beautiful thing that lasts long after the hug itself. :D
      Loving the hugging… :heart:

  • Bob

    Hug – what is a hug to me?
    A bond on loving affection, saying I care in the moment that I share, I am here and so are you.
    I think hugging starts a bond of acceptance knowing that their is someone who is sharing your pain, happiness, or joy.

    Enjoyed feeling the warmth of the hugs from my wife, son and dog(he really loves receiving & giving hugs). Sent a couple of virtual ones as well.

  • JadePenguin

    That was a bit of a difficult one, as I’m not on hug-basis with many people here (yet). However, after our eco-petitioning event, I hugged three people as kind of “good job!” hugs. Also hugged the guy who hosted a vegetarian house party that night. And my ex who I’m still friends with. And if online counts, then it’s a total of 6 :)

  • Kimberly

    Great start to the challenge! I hugged my husband every chance I got, and my cats. I couldn’t do this at work as it would have been inappropriate though.

    I used to be one of those people who never hugged anyone, not even my friends, but this has changed (for the better) over the years. Its a great way to show you appreciate someone and care about them.

    And here’s a hug for you, Celes… :hug:

  • Miss Elf

    I hugged my co-worker and one friend and I gave three big and warm virtual hugs. It feels so good when you hug someone and you give that hug a meaning – because you are really ther in the moment.
    I WILL go out of my comfort zone and hug at least one of the people I dont know – I will search the opportunities to engage in conversation with random people an than try to hug them :mrgreen:

  • Terrye

    Well I almost could not breathe when I first read this task. I truly am a huggy person but having said that, it applies to those persons who are inside my circle and over my wall. I don’t generally hug people I know very little and then there are some that I know quite well that I would never consider hugging!

    My first hug #1 for the day, while not a person, always goes to my puppy. She is a 100 pound Chocolate Lab and she is how I wake each morning. She jumps on my bed when my hubby opens the door (he is a very early riser) and in she comes and she is all over me. It’s our morning loves, our cuddles, her rubs and my endless emotion for her. It is such a beautiful warm way to start my day. We cuddle for maybe 3-5 minutes, I tell her how much she is loved, what a wonderful puppy she is and then I make my way to my living room and she follows me….

    In the living room my hubby is sitting with a morning coffee and his book at the end table. This is not a lie and totally above board truth when I tell you that we start each day with a full body hug, #2, a very warm cuddle… I lie across him, tell him that I love him and he tells me that he loves me and how lucky we are that not many people start their day this way. We have been doing it for years so it is second nature to us and yet we fill each hug with meaning. I do not recall that I have ever lay across him and pecked him with a kiss or a hug. It a very full meaningful hug and I give the universe thanks that we share this unique moment. It feels unique to me because we have been married for 33 years and the fact we still like each other seems to be an accomplishment according to statistics! After my hubby hug I go to my chair for my coffee that my hubby so graciously has prepared for me and my puppy sits by my chair , drooling pools waiting for a puppy treat that hides behind my cup. I give her the treats, two each morning( probe why she is a 100 pounds  ) , I close my hands and say all gone and she then jumps back to the sofa with my hubby and her pooh toy. We chat thru two coffees and then we start the day. It sounds lazy to some maybe but for us, it is our way of welcoming the day with love and affection and at our pace not the pace that the world sets for us…

    Now I am at work and well, how do I move to another hug with my co-worker Hmmmmm only two of us work together every single day, just two of us. Give her a hug? Hmmm I will get back to you, so far, a lot of thought but no hug yet, it’s mid-day …

    I have been speaking with a friend and we are going shopping this evening. She is a really close friend so that will help me get up to two (people) hugs. I hope customer service is really good tonight if I am going to get to three people 

    I am thinking it’s gonna be a challenge for me! I can’t get to three let alone move to level 2 !

    Are you guys really this huggy with everyone??????????????

    Okay so I did not hug my co-worker, not sure I could get there, just didn’t feel right to do… Hmm

    I went out with my friend and of course I hugged her. I love her to death it was easy!
    I thought about hugging the cashier, nope….. too weird…
    I thought about hugging the waitress at the restaurant, nope …. too weird….

    So I have two people hugs and a puppy hug – Just not an easy task, what can I say!!!!!!!!!!

    I sent my Mom an inspiration link and said Huge hugs – Can that count 

    I am expecting 10 people at my place this week end for a get together. I bet you I will hug every one of them – Can I count on Saturday instead?????????

    Warm Smiles – No hugs mind you but warm smiles 

    • Bette

      It’s a beautiful life Terrye, pooch, hubby, and dear friend love and hugs flowing so everyday in your life…very lovely to hear these things.. :D :heart:

      And oh yes, I say YES! the hugs for your (weekend) friends count…those and all the other friends/opportunities with friends you’ve not yet met too!

      Well-intended :hug: :hug: :hug: ‘s with meaning for you, Terrye!
      A pass it on, okay? ;) :D

      • Terrye

        Awww thanks so much Bette, this is so sweet of you!
        Cyber Hugs okay!

        Ironically I think I give lots of hugs, yesterday was just not good timing for the people I happen to be seeing :)

        If i move to giving a stranger or someone not inside my little wall I will think of you for sure !!

        I did get a friend to join me in this journal thing from the Day Zero Goal and she is like me, she hugged her puppy, her hubby, her best friend and she ran into a wall then haaaaaaaaa

        Nice to get replies to my comments_

        I will be watching you :) !

        Smiles , warm ones

  • Orrin

    sent virtual hugs to my family today. I’m out on the road a lot so I don’t see them as much as I’d like most of the time, but that doesn’t mean they have to think I’m not there for them!

  • Celi

    Somewhat late, but I did hug at least 3 people without having looked at the task.

    My nephew of 2 years started to give squezies – very tight hugs. and that was sooooo nice.

  • Claire R

    Day 1 Hugs for all !

    This was quite funny. I am by nature a big hugger..Love to receive and share hugs.My problem was the need to hug ( I felt like a stalker )Between people with packages, angry barking dogs and one who said “I’d love to hug you but I’m all yucky from gym.”…. Even my husband was not very willing.
    So I hugged all I wanted today. And those I couldn’t hug I tried to linger ,hold the door for, help with packages and at least pat the shoulder.

    Here in Venezuela we have this wonderful tradition called the ” abraso” which is kind of like a hug but a bit open to one side like a dance step and with back thumping , patting or rubbing. Very close. So yes, the men and women here can be givers and participants in the most generous of hugs.,
    :hug: to all and Huge for Cele
    Claire R

  • honey erna

    it is not easy to ask strangers to hug you, even at a culture like mine where physical touch…”HUG” is a common way of greeting,….me as a strangers in taiwan its hard to ask that specially to other people but as a filipino its easy for us to do that ….i love this challenge… :heart: :heart: :heart:

  • Joe

    Hugging day was wonderful!!! I usually greet my officemates with a hug. That may not be very “out of my comfort zone,” but when I started hugging others from other departments, that’s when things got exciting. They asked me why I was hugging them and I said that I wanted to show kindness to them. Some said that I was sweet and gave me another hug while others were skeptical and asked what I wanted in return. I gave those that said I had an ulterior motive another hug. Just in case they thought I wanted something in return. Today was a victory for going beyond my comfort zone and to show kindess regarless of how my hugs were perceived.

  • Ngee Key

    This is a great kindness gesture. A hug gives a person warmth and care. I hugged my mom, my new overseas friend and one of my old time friend. It is a great feeling for both me and the person being hugged :)

  • Dolly Yeo

    Today Nov 1 is the first day of ‘Kindness Challenge’ from Celes’ initiative in (Nov 1 to 14) Celes will write one thing for us to do to show our act of kindness. I had a longer blog about my Level 2 hug and it was in my blog, since I am not sure I could put my blog site’s url here I shall transfer the full version here :

    Our level 1 is to give hugs to our family member and level 2 is to hug everyone we meet. My first hug went to my youngest daughter and she said she felt cozy. I felt I was supportive, as she leaned on my shoulder. She was busy and stressed out with her projects from her Polytechnic. When I asked her to join me, she said she is overwhelmed with the projects. I respected her decision and told her that I am going to hug my client. She said, are you sure? I said, I will tell him about the Kindness challenge. She was thinking how can I go around doing that. I told her it is something that would open people’s heart.

    I had an appointment with my client, and she had to go to school, so we decided to go for a quick bite. As I entered Yakun, a local cafe, I went to order our half boiled eggs and drinks. She found a place near the entrance, but was filled with uncleared dishes from the previous customer, I saw the next nearest seat and proceeded there and asked the elderly man whether the seat is taken, he immediately pushed a plate of kaya toast (egg jam toast) to me. I was surprised and asked him why? He said he could not finish. I felt so happy that immediately by opening my heart to do kindness I am attracting the same. I accepted his kindness and shared with my daughter that kindness attract kindness. Teachable moments. She was very delighted by this stranger’s kind gesture. I immediately shared with him that I m in this Kindness Challenge and whether I could give him a hug. He said ok. Within 10 minutes, he shared about his children, gave me his email, and I gave him and Celes’ name and encourage him to share with his daughter about this Kindness Challenge. Gave him a hug and went off to my appointment.

    As I journal this on my ipad, on my way to meet my client, I felt warmth in my heart. I am also aware of the onlookers in that cafe. This elderly man is around his seventies. I m only guessing. Arising out of this kindness act, there are three generations. My youngest daughter is 17, I m in my fifties and the gentleman in his 70’s. we can definitely open everyone’s heart. He spoke Chinese, I spoke English & some Chinese:) It does not matter what language we speak, it is the milk of human kindness that we all yield for.

    Before I met my client, I thought long and hard about getting my client to participate, wondering it would be ok to tell him that I would like to give him a hug. You see, he is a bit reserved.

    The first thing was, I explained to him about the challenge before we begin our session.
    Then I told him that I would like to give him a hug after our one to one coaching session.
    He said ok. He gave me a kind of side hug after our session! Half a loaf is better than none!

    I am glad I did. I know I am opening hearts! Because my intention is good and it is a win, win, win.
    I get to support Celes in this noble notion. Celes win because you are impacting people to be aware and remember about kindness. I get to remember to be kind, in times of busy doing things I tend to forget to be a human being. And the last win is, my client would be experiencing getting out of comfort zone; (I am waiting for him to share with me how he felt after the hug:) And he get to open his heart and reminded that there are still many kind people around. I also invited him to join in the ‘Kindness Challenge’ and gave him the link.

  • Cheree

    Okay, not sure I achieved Level 2, but I surpassed Level 1. Went to the Central Arkansas Puppy Up! Canine Cancer Walk today. It was easy to give and receive hugs there! In fact, a couple of people tried the hand shake thing with me, but I told them I was a hugger and gave them a hug instead.

  • Laurina

    We made this a family challenge to see who could hug the most people that day. I won with 12 people, and my youngest son came in second with 9 people. Everyone, friends included, had a minimum of 5 people to hug today.

  • Rita

    My group shared their Kindness Challenge of giving hugs. Everyone participated and we had a warm fuzzy feeling sharing stories.

  • Hetal_S

    Hugged My Mom :D have included this as a day to day activity ;)

  • Angela Brent-Harris

    I hugged my 18 1st grade students and told them each something lovely about themselves. I gave them each a marshmallow and told them it was to remind them how sweet they are. I also hugged my sons, spouse, mom and fellow colleagues and friends.

  • Ezza

    I hugged my husband all day and spent the Sunday with him and family – hugging and enjoying their company. Let the good times roll lol :heart:

  • Alexa

    Ah, Celes! I have not forgotten about the Kindness Challenge or PE, though I admit this month has been challenging for me so far and distracted me from the tasks. I know there’s two days left, but I plan on getting as many of these tasks done as I can! =D

    This first challenge is one I DEFINITELY met, even on the day it was the challenge. I love hugs! I love making people feel better through hugs, and if someone ever looks down I’ll for sure at least offer to give them a hug and hold them ’til they feel better.

    I think as a personal challenge to myself, I will aim to initiate hugs more. Sometimes I’ll find someone I’ll normally give a hug to will leave without one, and while that’s not a bad thing in and of itself, I’m sure offering a hug before they go would make ‘em leave with a smile. =)

    • Celes

      Hey Alexa, it’s so great to have you back with us! I never thought you forgot about the challenge, just thought that perhaps you were busy with other things! Yes by all means, try to clear as many of the items as possible—there are two more tasks left and four days left before all comments will be closed.

      At the same time, the tasks are meant to get us integrating these acts into our daily lives (as you would already know!) and not meant to be check boxes to be ticked, though being able to complete them in the next two days will definitely be a great feat! I look forward to reading your comments for each task! :D