01 December 2013

Has Peace Become Clichéd?

A simple float in a Santa Claus parade. People-powered. Colourful. Creative. Collaboratively designed. A globe with a dove sitting upon it. Peace on Earth. Literally and symbolically. Lovely, right? Nope.

Head honcho says: "Peace on Earth is trite."


I remember when Christmas was the most special day of the year! The week before Christmas was magical. Then I went off to school and Christmas began to take up the whole month of December, in the way that Earth Day has spread to Earth Week and now, in some places, Earth Month. 

That never bothered me. The days became more and more festive as the month went on. 

Nowadays, though, the Christmas season begins the morning after Halloween. (I suspect some window dressers are up all night changing the display!) And Black Friday? What's up with that? I think it must be called Black Friday to commemorate all the tramplings, including deaths, that occur the Friday after the American Thanksgiving. (See Greening the Holidays at School for more.) 

I know it's all about wringing more shopping out of shoppers. I understand the economics of it. I don't condone the economics, but I understand the feeling (and, I suppose, the reality) that Christmas buying will carry many retailers through the rest of the year. But sometimes, it just serves to make us all the more grinchy. 


Could that explain someone — a newbie environmentalist with a lot of chutzpah and influence — forbidding "Peace on Earth" on a Christmas float because it's "trite"?

This must be someone who doesn't know that the world's militaries (with the US military in the lead) are the leading burners of fossil fuels on the planet. This person must not understand how incredibly destructive wars and conflicts (and illegal invasions) are to the human victims, but also to other species, and the land, the water, the air and the climate.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?