Let’s bring the Peace Symbol Back
I’m an 80’s baby which means most of my childhood memories are of the late 80s and 90s. I remember my pegged acid washed jeans, Saved By the Bell, hyper color shirts, and the peace symbol. I had a black cord necklace with a silver metal peace symbol, I had earrings that slightly dangled and multitudes of shirts proudly displaying the peace sign. I drew the peace symbol on the notes I passed back and forth with friends. And of course, anyone who grew up during the 60s and 70s remember it. The peace symbol was as ubiquitous as a heart. But where has it gone? I never see it anymore. Kids barely write with their hands, its all texting and emoticons. I asked my son to draw the peace symbol and he didn’t know how. So where did it go?
The peace symbol was originally designed in 1958 for a march in London. It was created in support of nuclear disarmament but grew to mean much more. It represented that we as humans, did have a choice. We had a choice that did not include bombing our enemies to death. It meant we have evolved past brute force and could choose peace.
It is like we have collectively said as a society, peace? What is that? We gave up on peace years ago. But why? Why can’t peace be our focus, instead of war? Why can’t we listen to Malala’s calls for world wide education instead of calls for war?
Peace takes time and patience. And we have none. We have gotten used to immediately getting what we want. We have become spoiled with next day deliveries and drive through windows and the internet. Peace also requires working together. Maybe we gave up on peace because it takes too long. It has too many steps and we don’t want to spend our precious time thinking up a lasting solution. We want something instant. War is instant. The moment we drop a bomb or issue a drone attack, the news shows us our results. Problem solved, people are dead, the world is safer.
I believe if we bring back the peace symbol that captivated generations, people would start to remember what it means. Peace means choosing to find common ground. Peace means searching for a solution that keeps everyone safe. Peace means even if you have been wronged, you think of the longer term consequences your actions will have, and choose what’s best for all.
In this age of instant gratifications, and the red and blue lines we’ve deeply drawn, does peace even have a chance? I believe a good first step is to bring the simple peace symbol back. Displaying the peace symbol will indoctrinate a generation once again. Remind everyone that peace is the better way. Can we choose to be peace loving Americans? I think we can.