Operating on hugs, not dollars

“I go off hugs, I don’t go off dollars.” 

Those were the words of Farmer Greg from Field of Dreams Farm in Richmond, VA. Greg is passionate about providing real food to the area’s schools and from what I can tell he is quite the one-man show. Not only does he grow food but he visits schools, installs gardens and educates students. Farmer Greg was an inspiration to chat with – he saw a need and started making change happen. I encourage anyone interested in learning more about Field of Dreams Farm’s efforts to get in touch with Farmer Greg. I guarantee his enthusiasm is contagious!

Now, though Farmer Greg’s statement on hugs lingered in the back of my mind, it didn’t truly hit home until a few days later. I was slowly pedaling to my campground after many long hours of grinding up the steep hills of northern Virginia when I crossed paths with a fellow cyclist. He made a u-turn and accompanied me for the final mile of the day. We stopped for a quick chat at the entrance and although our exchange was brief I could tell that he believed in the SFT’s mission. He snapped a quick photo and returned to his training ride, but not before giving me a genuine and spontaneous hug of encouragement.

I was tired. Exhausted, in fact. But this encounter raised my spirits and helped me realize the full impact of Farmer Greg’s philosophy. Hugs, thankfulness, gratitude… they have more value than any amount of money.

Be sure to say thank you the next time you find something worth appreciating out in the world. There are a lot of people doing a lot of wonderful things. I am thankful for that.