Standing with the Peacenik People

Reassured by gestures of good will
smiles and waves and thumbs up
drivers making room for each other
signalling to pedestrians to go ahead
Kindness reigns in the realm of the 
good people.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Every Friday at noon, for 30 years or more, a dedicated little band of peace people have stood on the corner outside the local courthouse holding signs of peace and justice. Today I decided joining them would be a fine way to spend my “Black Friday.” So I scribbled a “LOVE RULES” sign and headed out for the courthouse.

I actually got there before the rest of the group and for a few minutes I stood there on the corner alone, holding my “LOVE RULES” sign – I felt very brave and pleased with myself. I started waving at people as they stopped at the light, and giving the thumbs up. “Love rules! Hate drools!” I yelled, grinning. People gave the thumbs up back to me, and laughed. One man in a truck, stopped at the light, shook his head no. I nodded my head yes. He grimly shook his head no. Laughing, I nodded my head yes. He shook his head no. I nodded yes – totally cracking up now. I mean… how can anyone disagree with Love? Aren’t people funny? 🙂

I was soon joined by the regulars: Jim Johnson – a former teaching colleague of mine – and his wife, Marilyn;  John “Peace Wizard” Bromet, a retired science and math professor; John, a former OB/GYN; Ginny, a woman I’d met when I’d been the guest speaker at the local Unitarian Universalist fellowship (her late husband had been mountaineering buddies with my dad); and Jerry Sommerseth, musician and human being extraordinaire – a man I hadn’t seen for years – and whom I was so excited to find again.

There was something really re-energizing about standing on that street corner with my peacenik friends. And there was something really inspiring and encouraging about the response we got from the people who drove by us. The vast majority of people responded positively to my “LOVE RULES” sign – gave me the  thumbs up, waved, gave the peace sign, honked. “Peace on!” I yelled to a couple of young guys in a rental moving van – and they both grinned at me and nodded their heads and gave me the peace sign. When the light changed, they gave one final honk to us as they moved through the intersection. White people, ethnic minorities, old, young, people in trucks, people in sports cars, people driving econo-cars and hybrids – it was like a little microcosm of the United States – and they were all honking for peace!

Isn’t that AWESOME?!

“At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

peaceknik-people

 

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