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  • Woke up this morning, opened up my email and then headed to Facebook after reading a couple of stories in Cowbird to find Jaga's new artwork. So we're LoveBirds now instead of Cowbirds?

    Okay. So be it. I'll break out my embroidered jeans and tie dyes, grow my hair long and wear tinted lenses and sing folk songs about love and freedom and justice and we'll take the world by storm and make the planet a better place to be. I mean, it's never been tried before, has it?

    One of the interesting things about a commenter on the thread following this new art is the amount of 60's paraphernalia in the photos on their page. All the old hippie pics, including Frank Zappa smoking a big fattie and Dr. Timothy Leary giving the single digit salute. Tune in, turn on, drop out...isn't that the way it was back then? Memories of flowers in the barrels of guns, protests on the docks and at the airports as the soldiers and sailors returned from Vietnam. Memories of stepping off the plane in Da Nang and reporting to the piers for service on a PBR. Memories of ....never mind...not ready to share them.

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Won't go there again.

    Don't get me wrong, my friends. I understand the “darkness of the soul” as well as any and better than some. There is nothing more I would like than a world of peace and harmony where nobody suffers from man's inhumanity. If there were something I could do to make it happen, I would do it, even if it meant giving up my life in the process.

    The trouble is it never helps, and most times makes things worse. While we did not have a perfect society in the 1950's, for example, the very idea of a child taking a gun to school was unthinkable. Playboy and other adult magazines were not on the shelf, you had to ask for them. And while there were things like racism, glass ceilings, and other artificial restrictions to society, the government was much smaller, and there were fewer homeless people in the US.

    The 60's came and went, and while we started with an era of Peace and Love, we went into the next decade shouting “Where's Mine?” and turned into Yuppies and Dinks. Technology improved to the point that we no longer consider people walking down the street talking to themselves disturbed, as long as we see the bluetooth hanging out of their ear. Our technology now is so advanced we can choose to ignore anyone in real time in favor of the virtual. As a consequence, I know people who have lived in a neighborhood for years who have no idea who their neighbors are. Personal isolation is the norm.

    Now maybe that is a good thing, since by electronically distancing ourselves from one another we gain the ability to ignore what we find offensive or frightening. Dialogues become unemotional and rational, based on Logical reasoning and factual evidence. And if you think this is a true statement, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'll put on Craig's list for you to bid on.

    All sarcasm aside, there is a way to work for peace, but it isn't with bright colors or hippie clothes or cheerful sayings. The way to work for peace is to set the example of peace. And you don't need to be a government leader or an influential speaker to do that. You simply have to accept a personal commitment to peace and follow it. If you're right, others will follow your example. If not, well, you haven't caused positive harm to anyone, not even yourself.

    Take the time to get to know the people in the apartment or house next to you. Have them introduce you to the person next to them. When you talk, talk about peace. Then live your life the way you talk. Be the example.

    It really is that simple.


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