Human angels

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Human angels

by Noreen Sadik


Melissa Lockley (an Australian artist) paints love and hope. (© Melissa Lockley)

‘How wonderful it must be to speak the language of the angels. They have no words for hate and a million words for love!’ from The Angel’s Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994.

This story is about angels. Not the spiritual angels with wings and pink cheeks. Or the angels we sometimes feel when we are alone. Or the angels we see in the clouds in the sky. Because angels can be very different. This story is about the angels who are on this earth and live around us: the human angels.

They are the people we don’t know, who enter our lives for a brief moment. They give kind words, a kind smile, touch, or a big hug. They make our difficult days better, and give us hope.

They lift humanity and spread love.

Lyndsay Bowes and Kristie Elgersma, from Canada, met in October 2011. They were both part of the Anonymous movement and they met in an unlikely place – on a phone line to support Occupiers around the world.

They saw that they had the same beliefs and concerns about humanity, the environment, politics, and inequality and injustice in the world.

They believe strongly in the goodness of people. And they wanted to find a way to reconnect the human family, to bring back the positive feelings of empathy, compassion and trust.

‘We decided to try to connect to people by showing compassion and love to random strangers. We wanted to create a “compassion tsunami”.’ Bowes explains.

‘So many people are living in poverty, are unhealthy, and have too much stress,’ Elgersma continues. ‘And these people are easy to control. We can’t help people financially or help them to be healthier, but we can help take away the stress a little by showing them that someone cares. People need to know that someone loves them.’

So they started Op Human Angels in January 2013. With a few friends, they put on imaginary wings and became human angels.

‘Once a month, we go into the streets and give free hugs. We leave inspirational messages of hope in places like libraries, grocery stores and gas stations. And we write on roads, sidewalks and stairs with chalk,’ says Elgersma.

‘The first time I went out, I was very scared that people would reject us,’ says Bowes. ‘But there was so much love, it was shocking.’

‘Often people don’t understand what we’re doing. It’s unusual to them,’ says Elgersma. ‘The most difficult thing to accept is how much people need us. We see this from the intense emotional response we get from so many people.’

‘When people know that we are not from an organization or charity, and the hugs are free – that we are just trying to put more love in the world – I see a change in their eyes,’ Bowes explains. ‘It’s a wonderful feeling to shock people all the time because we don’t want anything from them.

‘It’s like a whirlwind of emotion, and it happens so fast. People hug and cry, and pass notes. It’s like an explosion of happiness at the speed of light! Our faces usually hurt after 20 minutes because we laugh and smile so much!’

Sometimes people unexpectedly join them. Bowes was on a train platform when a young man in the army, when he knew what they were doing, took a sign and went on the rest of the journey with them.

Elgersma talks about an emotional moment was in Washington DC, with an old man. His wife had died five years before. ‘He told us how much he missed her, and how difficult it was to continue without her. We made him think about her because she was always trying to put more love in the world. And he really needed a hug that day.’

‘Our goal is to empower the people with love. Love helps people break free. Love empowers. Love overcomes,’ says Elgersma. ‘If there was enough love in the world, people would feel that they are important enough to fight against the violent systems and structures we have today. We need so much love and peace on this planet. And we need everyone to create this together.’

Everyone needs love: people with problems, the lonely, the sick, the rich people who feel their souls are empty, and the poor people whose souls give out happiness.

Luciano de Crescenzo, Italian writer, actor and director, once said: ‘We are all angels with only one wing, and we can only fly if we join with others.’

Just imagine a world where all of us are angels.

See the Human Angels in action: and follow the Human Angels on Facebook

As this article has been simplified, the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed. For the original, please see: