The Evolution of the Peace Sign
By Peter Melton
I grew up in California in the ’60s and ’70s, and I can clearly remember the early days of the two-finger peace signal. The older boys in our neighborhood were being drafted and going off to fight a war. A lot of people did not agree with this war and a lot of protesting was going on in the region. The two-finger peace sign emerged as a way for people to express themselves and show that they were against the war, and as I found out later, also against the creation of nuclear bombs.
Back then, when you flashed the two-finger signal, it meant something; it was a clear and powerful statement. During the course of the past 30 years, the two-finger peace signal lost a lot of its power and clarity.
My story moves ahead to 1994, when some buddies and I decided to relive that Summer of Love vibe and we traveled to New York to Woodstock 2, the 25th anniversary of the original event. As we were driving into the venue, I was feeling very nostalgic and I was anticipating a wonder-filled weekend. I noticed many people were flashing the two-finger peace signal. Then, in the car next to us, a young man sticking half out the car window looks over at me, shows the two-finger signal, and in a slow and lethargic way he says, “Peace, man.”
At that moment, I felt a heavy thud in my heart. The peace sign that was so inspiring to me as a teen had been diluted into a “Hey, man, let’s not fight, let’s party” symbol. Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a new signal that could be inspiring to a new generation of peacemakers, of global citizens, of world changers?”
Back then, the peace sign stood for no nukes and no war and I agree that those were important topics of the time, but now we have a whole new set of challenges. Many of the vital operating systems of life on Earth are in crisis. In fact, it is hard to name any key elements of the human experience that are thriving right now.
So I got to thinking…what would a new, evolved peace sign represent? It would need to stand for more than just a few specific causes to fight for or against. It needs to represent a new mind-set, a new way of living on Earth that is sustainable and inspiring.
I wondered, “What human characteristics, if enhanced, could inspire deep and lasting social change without being divisive?” It would be something that would help us all work together to create a sustainable way of living and a strategy for us all to get along.
As I considered this question, the idea that came to mind was that the world is getting smaller. Technology and necessity are creating a stronger desire for us to connect with each other. The urge to create communities and groups is at an all-time high. We are realizing that fighting with each other over our spiritual differences is just not creating peace. The global climate situation is reminding us daily that we are all sharing this one fragile planet.
We need to realize/remember that what we do to another, we do to ourselves. This is not the golden rule for nothing. What we do to another, we are literally doing to ourselves. We are all in this together.
Eighteen years after my original epiphany, I have come to realize that our sense of family, our togetherness, is the key to creating a harmonious world, and that any way to create conversation on this topic will go a long way toward helping to create it. With that in mind, I offer “the together sign.”
A hand signal, evolving from the peace signal, is an instantly recognizable signal that represents the following statement: “While we are individuals, we are also deeply connected. We appear to be separate and we are not; we are interconnected to all of life and the solutions we seek must arise from this shift of consciousness.”
To do the signal (as shown here), you start with the standard two-finger signal near your body. From there, your arm extends slightly toward the person you are connecting with, and the two fingers come together as one. Eye-to-eye contact at this time is also a powerful addition to the signal. You can see a short video about the sign and exactly how to do it at www.TheTogetherSign.com.
The together sign is being launched to the public. It is being shared with peace and social-change groups all over the world, and if you feel called to help, please feel free to send the website link to groups you are involved with and/or post on your social media.
Be one of the early supporters of the together sign, and help remind humanity of its greatest treasure, our sense of family and our desire to work together for the greater good of all.
For more information email Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org