Friday, April 04, 2008

The Peace Sign Turns 50!

It is supremely fitting in some kind of cosmically ironic way, that the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination is also the 50th anniversary of the peace sign. King was one of the greatest advocates for peace, love and justice of the 20th century and the peace sign is the greatest symbol of peace over the last half century!

Seriosuly, I hope you will take some time today to reflect on the peace sign and on peace, in general. Our world is in so much despair. As Dr. King said,

“We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”

How might each of us play a part in creating a more peaceful planet? What might each of us do differently in our lives to help foster a more peaceful and just way of being?

Please, put down your iPod, your laptop, your cellphone, your PDA, and whatever other technology dominates your life, and think about it...

To help you along, here are a few timely resources:

Here is what the Washington Post wrote about the peace sign today. A choice quote:
Unveiled at a British ban-the-bomb rally on April 4, 1958, the peace symbol's peak of potency was in the 1960s, when it was the emblem of the anti-Vietnam War movement and all things groovily counterculture. (Said its late creator, British graphic designer Gerald Holtom: "I drew myself . . . a man in despair . . . put a circle around it to represent the world.") The symbol has marched in service of many causes over the years: civil rights, women's rights, environmentalism, gay rights, anti-apartheid, the nuclear-freeze movement and the latter-day antiwar crowd.

This website is dedicated entirely to the peace sign's 50th b-day!

Or, here are some crazy Euros creating a human peace sign:

And, of course, this anniversary would not be complete without a rendention of "Give Peace a Chance" by John Lennon, this one from Toronto in 1969:

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