Liberté, égalité... FRATERNITY

Hug the world.

Usually, this blog tends to pinpoint at differences, to emphasise cultural disparities… but sometimes it is simply refreshing to salute also fraternal initiatives. “Some hints of tenderness in a world of brutality” as some advertiser wrote one day. I am even considering contributing personally to this Hugging movement. I just cannot wait for that upcoming photo-shooting with these famous top-models.

But beyond the pale joke, it is in fact quite an inspiring film. In an age of social disconnectivity, the effects depicted in this video are very representative of our society. People artificially create a distance to protect themselves against the toughness of their surrounding. In other words, they demonstrate a neutral or even negative behaviour as a response to a morally/socially aggressive environment. Nevertheless, they intrinsically remain good and are just hoping for opportunities to demonstrate their inner feelings.

Sympathetic birds

I had the chance to meet Dr. Xavier Emmanuelli, founder of Médecins Sans Frontières and SAMUsocial. During our conversation he depicted a similar phenomenon. Trolling down the streets of Paris he came across an inanimate homeless man who was completely ignored by passers-by. As if invisible on his pavement. The doctor had to stop to check the fellow up. And amazing enough, his reflex worked as a catalyst. People started to stop and offer their help, even suggesting to call... a doctor! A bubble of humanity was inflating around the body, until he woke up from his alcoholic sleep, grumbling. A sudden burst of aggressivity, and a survival reflex seized the crowd who immediately returned to its self-centred walk. Afraid like birds would be of a barking dog.

In a sense this is an evidence that Jean-Jacques Rousseau was right when he asserted that human beings were naturally good, but were corrupted by the society. Suddenly this hugging film is no longer an amusing, cute little video. It becomes a philosophical, humanist action we should pay tribute to. So Bravo.

And for once, I won't finish this post on a light tone, but with a reminder in the form of a TV commercial on which I worked. If a hug is sometimes too much, or too hard, remember that a smile is already a mark of consideration. An acknowledgment that the person facing you exists. And this means a lot for someone who doesn't have anything but his dignity left.

Strapline: Nobody is tough enough to live in the street.

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