Back in September of 2001, many of us throughout America looked upward in panic and scanned the skyline for highjacked planes.
With no smart phones, we relied on the original forms of social media to get us through.
We spoke to each other to express our fears and listened to each other to soothe our burgeoning anxiety.
For those too traumatized to speak, we even petted dogs and stroked cats until our spirits were calmed down.
We also hugged…we hugged a lot as a way to silently say, “I am here for you.”
I was naive then - naive enough to think that 9/11 would be a watershed moment and there wouldn't be any more mass killing like that anymore but everyday it seems there is another event to show just how wrong I was - The Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Orlando, Chicago every day, Dallas, San Bernardino Baltimore, Ferguson, Aurora, Charleston, Fort Hood, Tucson and too many more.
Smiles - Hugs - High5s: these are the forms of social media that I grew up with and since 2001 I've utilized them to engage and inspire people around the world.
y path been as fulfilling a life experience as I could have ever dreamt but it's been a long road, prompting many to ask, “Aren’t you finished with all this?"
With that, I am proud to announce that I am partnering with Duke Cannon soap to do The World's Most Epic Road Trip where i plan to hug and high5 people in all 50 states this year.
But wait there’s more!
I am also partnering up with other charities so that there members can stand and hug with me and thus far I have been in contact with The Wounded Warrior Project, The Betty Ford Centers and other national charities.
More details are sure to come but right now the plan is to circumnavigate the continental 48 states in the 76 days between July and mid September -ending at the reopening of Philadelphia's Love Park!
Other details are firming up all the time so so please stay in touch and if you want to help me right now just take a picture with someone and hashtag it #BigDaveHugsAmerica