Martin Luther King

Look, this isn’t funny. Three great leaders were assassinated within 5 years of one another. What this says to me is that the idea of change scares people, and people will act out of fear and bigotry to subdue the brighter light. According to the campaign news, our country, is hungry for change. Obama has built most of his campaign on the mantra of CHANGE. Perhaps now is the time we do question what our convictions are, and how love will help us cultivate these convictions. It is not enough to just look toward a leader to do it. As we’ve seen from the assassination of three great leaders in our history-one person can not spearhead change for us. We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
On this 40 anniversary marking MLK’s assassination, I am listening to Marianne Williamson. The following is a passage from a speech she gave at the Omega Institute, where I lived and worked for 3 years.

“How come hatred has the human race hostage?
Every time you hear of a terrorist act…you always hear the President refer to it as an act of cowardice that won’t be tolerated.
I will go with wicked, unconsciousable, I’ll go with so many words, but I’m not sure I’ll go with cowardly. The truth of the matter is that hatred has a perverse kind of courage…
Miracles arise from conviction. Manifest power comes from conviction.
Hatred is acting with more conviction on the planet today.
I can’t imagine a kinda, sorta, when it’s convenient terrorist…Terrorists are very clear about what they want, willing to do any training it takes to effectuate their cause and very willing to die if that is what it takes.
The problem on the planet today is that those who are committed to that which it is not love behave with more conviction than do those of us who are centered in conviction of love. It is most dangerous if you feel it and you don’t act on it…..”

How did this happen?

There was a chain of action broken in the 60’s. I believe that the American conscious was frightened, suppressed as it witnessed the execution of it’s great leaders who were acting in conviction, acting in the interest of building a better nation. Can you image the fear you might have as yours leaders, promoting Peace and Justice, are all murdered within a 5 year period?
John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy.
MLK and RFK were murdered within just two months of one another.
“We’ve had difficult times in the past. We will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.”
Ironically, RFK says the above on April 3, 1968, the day before MLK was murdered.

Ironically MLK speaks those words in the above video, the very night before he was murdered. It gives me chills. He is saying, “Like anyone, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But, I’m not concerned about that now.”

MLK was a man with love and conviction. He rallied thousands to proactively cultivate justice. Look at the seeds of this change that have flourished and then look at the garden and ask, How can I help tend it? What seeds do we need now. And how we water them with conviction?

It is not enough to quote these leaders, it is time to act in the same conviction, so that we don’t have just one leader who can be assassinated. But rather that we are a nation of individuals strong, all willing to eradicate hatred, bigotry,racism, and injustice.

*photo taken in 2007 at the King Center in Atlanta, GA


Happy Anniversary Peace Sign


While the passing of the war anniversary was not a happy moment, I can share better news with you. The Peace sign is 50 years old this weekend. My initial research showed muddled dates, but that was because it was actually USED for the first time in a Nuclear Disarmament march, that occurred on Easter Weekend in 1958. (a leap year at that)

The march took place across the Atlantic, in Britain. Yes, the Peace sign was birthed a good decade before its famous adoption by Vietnam War protestors. Gerald Holtom, a commercial artist, suggested that the those marching to the atomic weapons research plant in Aldermaston carry signs painted with a neat, tidy and powerful symbol.


Around 5,000 marchers were in attendance for the unveiling of the Peace sign that Easter weekend. An impressive number given the recent anniversary of our 5th year in Iraq and the small turnout for such a precipitous occasion.

Those of you who read this website know that my mission is to discover how individuals and communities define and work towards Peace. The actual significance behind the tidy, little symbol, that anyone can scribble, is pretty complex.


Gerard utilized and compacted the semaphore letters for N(uclear) and D(isarmament). Semaphore is a method of Naval signaling using two flags held in position by the signaler. Of course, its meaning was specific to the marchers cause. I’m sure that still, some protestors were boggled by it, probably picturing a dove or something more universal at the time. It is now engraved in our minds as a Universal Symbol, one that travels across borders and belief systems and serves many civil rights movements.

It did have a deeper meaning to its creator. PhotobucketYears later, Gerard discussed its internal, personal symbolism with Peace News, saying, “I was in despair. Deep despair. I drew myself, the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya’s peasant before the firing squad. I formalised the drawing into a line and put a circle round it.” This was a commentary 50 years ago on the power paradigms that people faced-war weary generations newly introduced to the atom bomb.

While we might not have Peace in our world, and the bomb factory in Aldermaston is still open, the symbol itself has tenure. Generation after generation are inspired by it and continue to display it, some with purpose and passion, some purely commercial. My theory is that we must decode its personal meaning, obtain inner peace, before Peace is known globally, forever.

I am very excited that my journey to create a 20,000 mile Peace sign will finish in this year that marks a major anniversary of its creation. While I will be taking some big hills, again through the Rockies, the Peace symbol is far from over the hill…..

It is a infinite brand that belongs to no corporation, although it has been heavily commercialized, and it was meant to be freely used by the people. I ask that you all think beyond the simple scribble, delve deep into your hearts, and leave your definition on the Wall of Beliefs.

National Geographic will soon release a book called Peace: The Biography of A Symbol. I recommend it to everyone.

*Thanks to Crystal Waters and Pete Selkowe because they forwarded some resources to me.*


When I was in ATL the other day I picked up a book from the MLK Jr. Center for Non Violence and Social Justice. The first sentence in the book , The Measure of Man, questions, “What is man?” What follows below is an excerpt:

“Some years ago a group of chemists who had a flair for statistics decided to work out the worth of man’s body in terms of the market values for that day. They got together and did a lot of work, and finally they came to this conclusion: The average man has enough fat in him to make about seven bars of soap, enough iron to make a medium-sized nail, enough sugar to fill a shaker, enough lime to whitewash a chicken coop, enough phosphorus for about 2, 220 match tips, and enough magnesium for a dose of magnesia. When all of this was added up in terms of the market values of that day it came to about ninety-eight cents. Now, I guess, since the standards of living are a little higher today, you could get about a dollar ninety-eight for the average man. (and now days that would be about 3.98)”

This is interesting. Think about it. Man’s bodily stuff is worth only 3.98. But can we explain the whole of man in terms of $3.98? Can we explain the artistic genius of Michelangelo or Alex Grey in terms of $3.98? Can we explain the spiritual genius of Martin Luther King, Jr. in $3.98? Can we explain the mystery of the human soul in terms of $3.98? There is something within man that cannot be explained in terms of dollars and cents.

And I’m looking for it. Here’s something priceless from my day:
Baton Rouge say "Peace"

A response with my ethos

This is an excerpt from my correspondence with a very cool, supportive female scooterist in D.C. We are trying to get a ride in place, if not with a bunch of people, at least a chance to meet one another. Anyways, I am posting my response to make my modus operandi a bit clearer to the public.

I wanted to respond to, “but so far I don’t know which of the scootin’ folks are sufficiently opposed to the war to be up for riding with you.”
“The message behind this trip is Peace, first and foremost. I am trying to do something where the war isn’t the focus, but Peace is. Hopefully, if we start from that perspective, we eventually all get to the same point-that war doesn’t seem to solve conflict, it just establishes power-power over and not power with-which is what a democracy is supposed to be. But the more we focus on war- even “anti-war” the less we are really getting to the heart of what Peace is and what it means to the individual. Make any sense? Thats why this summer I am just asking people to define Peace. The individual who takes the time to define something has just empowered themselves and created a way to measure results. P.E.A.C.E.SCOOTER is meant to be more inclusive than an anti-war event, a lot of people won’t go to those- but that doesn’t mean they can’t define Peace for themselves. I can’t think of anyone who would truly say and mean that they don’t want peace for themselves in some manner…and I’m just riding around trying to figure out what those personal definitions are. ”

Try this statement: I am at Peace when we are at War. That just seems weird.
Mother Teresa always said something like “you won’t see me at an anti-war rally, but throw a pro-peace rally and I’m there!’

I would rather us make history by creating Peace, than become history in its absence.