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I spy joy in a bus shelter

Bus shelter in Vancouver, WA

Peace is in the air.  Or at least it seems to be.  I keep seeing signs of it everywhere.

A house in our neighborhood has a big peace sign on the lawn made with Christmas lights, a notice for the Let’s Think Peace art show came across Twitter from YES Magazine, and today I saw this bus shelter painted for peace.  These are just the highlights–I’ve seen peace sign rings, bumper stickers, t-shirts…

It’s kind of nice, the way the concept of being kind to each other seems to be top of mind.  It reminds me a little of a targeted ad campaign the way it shows up around every corner, but in a good way.  Which gives me a great idea: what if some wonderful foundation (anyone out there know Bill or Melinda Gates?) spent a few million on an ad campaign promoting peace and kindness across the nation?

I can see it now.  A billboard simply stating, “Be Kind”, a newspaper ad in the life section with smiling children of different races hugging or holding hands, Facebook ads asking, “How many times have you said I Love You today?”, the Google homepage with peace signs in the o’s, radio stations running 15- and 30-second spots with a kind warm voice reading a variety of quotations on peace, love and happiness, TV commercials with slide shows of joyous images.

Wouldn’t that be grand?

What might happen if we suddenly became bombarded with messages of kindness and hope, rather than fear and despair?  Would creating top of mind awareness for peace and kindness result in 5 more friendly acts per person per day? Or 2? Or 10? And what would the ripple effect of that be?  Less crime? More community?  It’s difficult to know for sure.  But I sure would like to find out.

Happy, peaceful holidays to you all.

December 29, 2009   1 Comment

I spy joy in Christmas lights

Photo from 9 News, Denver, CO

Photo from 9 News, Denver, CO

I’ve heard of Christmas in July many times, but this is the first I’ve heard of Christmas year-round.

Channel 9 News in Denver, Colorado ran a wonderful story about a family that brings joy to their mother all year long by arranging and rearranging Christmas lights on the balcony of her retirement home. This tradition began after Angie Loomis lost her husband of 58 years.

“That is really what we are about, we are just trying to take a dark evening and make it light. The nights can be lonely for her,” her son-in-law, Dan Augenstein, said.

This thoughtful and personal gesture brings joy not only to Mrs. Loomis, but also to many in the community who have come to appreciate and anticipate the changing display of love.

Joy lives!

May 27, 2009   No Comments