It started with a pretty simple idea:
Get kids to draw and color what they think peace is. Then ask them to let us display it for all to see, so that everyone sees what peace really looks like.
So we started with this:
We asked the City of Largo, FL USA to allow us to have a table at an event called Touch a Truck. This is an event where tons of people, and especially kids, come to the park and get to get in and explore tons of awesome vehicles like Firetrucks, Ambulance, Sky crane, Semi truck, Dumptruck, Garbage Truck, City bus, there was even a Helicopter that flew in.
We asked kids and adults if they wanted to color what their peaceful place looked like. A few people came over, and colored a picture, and promptly took it with them. We asked each person if they’d like to keep it or let us display it for everyone to see.
Our wall of peace started slow:
Then it began to build and more and more people started to show up. It was amazing!!!
As the kids drew, we asked them what peace looked like to them. They gave us amazingly awesome answers:
“when I’m happy”
“when there’s no hitting”
“when everyone is getting along.”
“when we are all smiling”
“when I like me”
As we asked them, we also asked the parents and they gave great answers as well.
“In the bathtub”
“relaxing on my front porch”
“when multiple generations and nationalities get together.”
There was one moment that just amazed me. There were 6 languages Russian, Arabic, Czech, Albanian, Spanish, and English all being spoken at the same time. All of the people were laughing, drawing, helping their children, and helping eachother.
At that moment I realized this is what peace looks like. I asked everyone to continue looking around and seeing how special this is, how wonderful this is. Then a Chinese women took the words right out of my mouth: Wouldn’t it be great if this was like it is all the time?
Yes, it would.
More and more kids and adults gave us their pictures. They put feathers on them, they colored with markers and crayons, the glitter ran out, the stickers ran out, and there was more joy and happiness than many people have ever felt in their life.
This is what positive change looks like. This is what motivating for positive change looks like.
When we look to do something in the world to make a difference, this is merely one idea of what we can do.
I’m thankful to be part of a primary prevention committee made up of individuals from many many different agencies and businesses that all come together to prevent violence, promote peace and healthy relationships, and bring that message to our community. These people were the driving force, the helpers, and the team that created and brought peace to over 200 people last Saturday!