The Flower Power movement was born during a turbulent time in American history. It represented peaceful protest against a divisive war. The war was not only on the battlefield, but on the streets where clashes over what the country could be—and should be—took place.
I would like to revisit this concept and repurpose it for our own times. No doubt you, like me, find yourself living in fractious times where people seem more interested in lobbing incendiary remarks rather than cultivating meaningful dialog. I believe that how we talk to each other is just as important as what we stand for.
Perhaps, one of our greatest failings as humans is believing that the answers to our prayers or the solutions to our problems can only come from entities external from ourselves such as god or government.
Maybe, this is why most of our most destructive wars have centered around things that aren’t wholly in our control. We can’t guarantee who will win an election, how someone will govern or what legislation will be passed. Nor can we force a god that may or may not exist to act on our behalf.
What we can do is not become the mercenaries who bully, troll and gaslight other people on behalf of power-hungry tyrants. When we empower the demigods in this way we only end up disempowering ourselves.
We have more power than we know, but we must learn to cultivate that power in positive ways so that we end up with a blossoming garden not a scorched field.
First, I would like to suggest that we start with our own souls. We have to stop consuming things that make us feel bad about ourselves, and each other. Poison is not the answer. Inspiration is what we need. We need to search out positive messages that broaden our minds and strengthen our spirit.
Next, we need to build community. Seek out a worthy cause and get to work. Evangelize to others about what you’ve discovered. Teach others what you’ve learned.
Realize that people come from different backgrounds, with different beliefs. This doesn’t make them bad—it makes them different. Be okay with that. You don’t need everyone to be converted to your side—you just need a big enough tribe to get things done.
Which brings me to my concluding thought. Realize that change takes time. The greater the gulf between two sides, the longer it will take for a solution to be found. Sure, we can keep blasting each other into oblivion with nasty comments and harsh rhetoric, but that won’t build a better future. Bombs change things in an instant, but there’s not much left when the smoke clears.
Instead, plant seeds that lead to change. Water hope. Cultivate love. Pull the negative weeds that threaten your garden. Believe in the power of peace.
—Jellybean Reds, Creator of Little Creatures