Thursday, January 20, 2011

Johnny Barnes on HuffPo!

It looks like the island’s most beloved resident has been making quite a splash in the press these days. According to life coach and Huffington Post contributor Arjuna Ardagh, Bermuda’s own Johnny Barnes exemplifies the epitome of unconditional love by greeting commuters each morning with shouts of “I love you!” at the corner of Crow Lane, just outside the City of Hamilton. Commenting on the fallout from the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, Ardagh cited the book Love For No Reason, which profiles 150 “love luminaries.” Writes Ardagh in yesterday's Huffington Post: “Some are well-known writers and celebrities, like Marianne Williamson, Melissa Etheridge and Geneen Roth. But my favorite was the story of Johnny Barnes, a native of Bermuda, who in the 1940's was working as an electrician on the railway. The impulse came to him, out of the blue, to start waving to people, calling out ‘I love you.’ He liked it so much, he started to do this every day during his lunch hour. Now Johnny is 84 years old. He gets up at 3:30 am every day to stand on the Crow Lane roundabout in busy downtown Hamilton till 10 am, calling out "Good Morning, Have a Good Day, God Bless you!” All very true. Don’t believe me? Then check out the above video, which shows Johnny greeting commuters as they enter Hamilton. Now THAT’s unconditional love. Said Johnny in the book: “If you can bring joy and happiness to others, you keep on doing it. People seem to like my staying power. I just keep showing up day after day, and year after year—they kind of count on it now. In fact, not long ago the city actually put up a statue of me, wide-brimmed hat and all, doing my two-handed wave! I never thought I'd see a statue of myself. Never. But there it is, a life-sized bronze sculpture that stands on the opposite side of the roundabout from me. It keeps on spreading love after I go home.” Spreading the love indeed.

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