I Know I Am Intelligent Because I Know That I Know Nothing .... Socrates

Friday, August 6, 2010

Real Men Hug

If you saw a sad stranger in the street or in a shopping centre would you go up and give them a big unconditional hug just to remind them that they matter and that you see them and care ?

What about if you were over at a friends or relatives place and you were faced with the same scenario, would that make a difference ?

What would it take for you to offer unconditional support to a stranger ?

And I guess more importantly, what is stopping you from caring freely without barriers ?

Quite often you read in these Blogs of “ Hallelujah Moments ”, moments of clarity and understanding at such a fundamental level if is prophetic. I had one of these such moments the other day when I had to go to the local music store to collect a new trumpet case I had on order for my son.

Now before I go any further, I need to paint a picture of me, you need to understand the context of the event to fully understand the event in itself. Now I am a 42 year old male who tops the scales at about 180kg, I have short hair and a moe & goatie, I was in track suit pants and a simple T-shirt with thongs on my feet. I certainly do not look frail and I certainly do not normally look like the type of person who would normally care to much about those around me, I certainly do not look like the type of person that would take kindly to a stranger getting up in my face uninvited.

Yet as I entered the store I was instantly greeted by a small framed man in his 60’s, I was greeted with a heartfelt hand shake and a series of quick fired questions about who I was, How I was and what I was doing in my life at the moment. Now normally I would be the first to jump back in defence to reclaim my personal space as I am not normally a very good people person and very much defend my 6ft personal space and freedom. Normally a person getting up in my face so quickly and aggressively would rattle my cage and either fire up an aggressive defence behaviour or send me running. But for some reason this rather confronting and touchy feely stranger did not set off my alarm bells and flashing lights, I actually found myself rapidly drawn into his aura and genuinely turned my attention and focus to him, for some reason my welcome stranger look familiar to me both in looks and behaviour, all of which convinced me to relax into his company.

Now after having my hand shook for what seemed a life time, my new welcome friend decided to give me a huge heart felt embracing hug with all the trimmings of his head berried into my chest as if we were long lost brothers who had just met for the first time in 50 years. Once again for some strange and inexplicable reason I felt comfortable in his embrace and found myself returning his affection unconditionally.

My new best friend was not a big man like me, in fact he was quite a diminutive figure compared to my huge frame and when we hugged he disappeared compared to me. Yet hugged we did, two complete strangers in the middle of a music store !

Now my welcome stranger talked fast, very fast and he spoke in such a way that he kept repeating himself. It was like he had too much to say in far to shorter time and because he was trying to cram a life time of conversation into a moment in time and he could sense that I was having trouble keeping up with him. My friend kept telling me that we should love unconditionally, that we should never be afraid to show our love as we never know what life will give us.

At one stage our conversation changed direction and my friend asked me what I am doing at the moment, I told him that I was not doing much as I am out of work and just enjoying doing nothing for a while. Suddenly the conversation once again took on a frantic pace as I was advised that life is too precious and short to do nothing, everyone should be doing something, anything.
My friend then stepped back and shook my hand again and then pointed at a promotional poster that I was standing next to and proudly pointed out to me that the man in the picture was in fact him, although many years ago. David Helfgott then stepped straight back into me and continued to give me another genuine soul search hug.

Now some of you may instantly know of David, others may not but David is a world renown Concert Pianist who was immortalised in a 1996 film called “ Shine ” in which Geoffrey Rush won an Oscar for best male actor. David was a child prodigy who suffered a nervous breakdown and was lost for many years before once again finding himself and his life.

David never once hesitated in greeting me warmly and unconditionally in a way that I have never experienced before in my life, he was an open book and an open free soul in a way that I cannot hope to describe in words. It was obvious that he had been born with or perhaps lived a life that had given him a unique insight to life.

Now, as I sit back and write this Blog I can’t help buy reflect and respect how free, genuine and open David lives his life, how much courage that must take and how much I would love to be able to relax enough to be that open with people. I can’t help but think that David has hit the nail right on the head and that we all should be living such and open and warm life.

Thank you David for being you and God Bless.

David’s web page .. http://www.davidhelfgott.com/


  1. Thanks for sharing Andrew. What an peculiar and inspiring man. Yes, don't we all wish we were more like him. What a unique and uplifting experience for you. He obviously has that wonderful ability to look into people's hearts. :)

  2. Andrew ~ Thank you. Thank you for sharing such an amazing moment from your life. I smiled at your description of yourself. To me, after reading the things you write from your heart, you seem like exactly the kind of person I would walk up to and hug. Your heart has always seemed bigger than Texas to me.

    Beautiful story.