Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dove
Episode 1: Sick at the Cinema

It was when they showed the first bombs hitting Baghdad, that I ran for the lobby, certain that I was going to vomit all over the theatre carpet. I have never been so angry. I had never felt so powerless. That August screening of Fahrenheit: 9-11 was the night the seed was planted…a seed of action in an otherwise self-obsessed, apolitical and largely ignorant 40 year-old. I swore that night I was going to do something to help stop the madness, the lies, greed and slaughter of innocent people.

But a week later I was back in my old routine. The potent outrage and distress began to fade. I was slowly crawling back to my comfort zone. The California sun and reality television soothed and distracted me. Sure I did my part: I voted for Kerry and forwarded Bush-bashing emails. I expressed shock and disbelief when Bush won and sadness and concern when my good friend’s son got hit with shrapnel on the front lines. But what else could I do? Work had gotten so busy.

Cut to an August dawn, a year later. August 9th, to be exact: The tenth anniversary of the passing of my favorite wandering troubadour, Jerry Garcia. I woke up early in the New York City hotel room. I was struck with an idea that seemed to come from a place deep in my heart, rather than my head. Those “Support Our Troops” yellow ribbons…turn them sideways and they are almost the shape of a dove. Of course the dove ribbon message would be one of peace: “Support Our Troops, Bring Them Home”. “You have to do this,” said an emphatic and mischievous voice from inside me. If I wasn’t so sober I would have sworn it was the voice of Garcia himself. The voice also told me that at least 20% of the net proceeds would have to go to charities supporting peace. To which I replied, “Of course.” You don’t argue with Uncle Jerry.

When I got back to L.A., I casually mentioned the idea to my wife. A day later I wandered into her office to see that she had created a design far beyond what I was capable of envisioning.

Its power and aliveness literally leapt off the screen. That was the moment the seed sprouted and peacepositive.net was born.

Just a few months later, the site is up and running. Peace Doves are flying everywhere from Florida to Vermont. And even though sales are slow, I feel fantastic. Because I am no longer powerless. And I owe it all to taking a little positive action every day. The tagline on our homepage resonates with truth: No act of peace is ever wasted. Wonder what act of peace I’ll take tomorrow…

Also posted to Daily Kos

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