Moment Social Responsibility

Love, spontaneously

I was hugged by five strangers on my way to work today. Not because I did something to deserve it. Today I just happened to be at the right event, at the right moment in time.

Today the US Supreme Court confirmed same-sex marriage as a right, nationwide. An announcement met with much elation from those gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Portland, Oregon. It could have easily been sadness, or outrage, had the split been 4-5, instead of 5-4.

In that moment before a historical announcement like this, the tone and program of an event like UUA GA balances on an edge. Participants (and organizers) holding their breath in a tense uncertainty somewhere between celebration and protest.

In this case, the result was “yes”. And joy. With no better place to express it than at an event. At an event where you are hugged by a complete stranger who, knowing the significance of the moment in history, embraces you back. Something you could never do across the miles and distances that separate us. Distances that today seem a little less vast.


1 comment

  1. Shawna, hugs to you from a distance! Your post brings me back to the morning after the U.S. election in 2008, when I had to travel through O’Hare Airport–gateway to the city that gave us the candidate who ended the Cheney-Bush years–to California, whose 55 electoral votes sealed the victory.
    People at O’Hare weren’t hugging strangers (it wasn’t Portlandia, after all, and it wasn’t the UUA). But they were *smiling* at strangers. At O’Hare. And, no, I wasn’t just imagining it.

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