Monday, April 21, 2008

Peace For Peace

Happy Birthday to the Peace Sign - this month marks it's 50th year. Hard to believe that such an icon isn't actually some ancient tribal shape adapted to modern sensibilities. After all, from protest signs to fashion design, it's become one of the most recognized shapes in the world.

The creator, London-based graphic designer Gerald Holtom, never made a dime on the shape. Motivated only by the desire to create a symbol to represent nuclear disarmament, he never bothered to copyright it despite it's wild-fire adaptation. Interestingly, the notion was never to "fight for peace", rather just to remind folks not to fight to begin with.

The act of contributing his design ability to his own passion and love of peace spawned an iconographic common-ground not only for his contemporaries, but for all of us who followed. A great example of doing what we do out of passion and love, in his case war tugged at his heart and put his frustration into an action he was capable of. He never asked himself if he was capable of creating an icon for an enduring ideological movement. He simply gave his passion to what he COULD give to.

Rather than feeling "deer in the headlights" about your own form of DOING, Appreciative Inquiry Maven Robyn Stratton- Berkessel shared this as way to get into action, "To be reminded that the seemingly smallest acts of kindness, acknowledgement, appreciation: a smile, a hello, holding the door for someone, telling a child how good she/he is, a wave to the neighbor can have a profound effect and made a big difference. It is the compounding effect we can't anticipate. You never know how far positive kind work or action will travel and for how long. What we can do is make those little acts of kindness a more conscious behavior. The moments will add up to hours and days and months and lifetimes. "

Greening your own actions in this way, you move constantly from contending with life as you know it to being deeply connected to that which without we could simply not BE.

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