I was writing the other day about how the path of peace can sometimes be challenging. I didn’t realize just how challenging until I put the word Peace on my license plate!
First of all, you have to understand that I’m from Jersey. My Jersey take on peace is that your path of peace really come down to just two choices – two fingers making a peace sign or just one finger making a less than peaceful sign! Simple right?
I thought that I was pretty well along on my path of peace when I got my new license plate a year or so ago. I was wrong. Apparently my car was my last stand for a place where peace didn’t have free reign. I had become a far more peaceful driver than I used to be, no gestures and rarely any raised voices but still once I put that license plate on I quickly noticed where I wasn’t being so peaceful while driving.
It’s actually an excellent reminder to drive peacefully. Every single time I even think about driving aggressively or explaining, from the safety of my car, how the other drivers ought to get the heck out of my way, I remember the license plate. Then I imagine the faces of the other drivers as I zoom past them. In my mind I can see them roll their eyes and take my behavior as an affirmation of their skepticism about the possibilities of world peace. It may seem like a lot of pressure to put on myself, but the idea of anyone losing faith in the idea of peace because of my choices is enough to take my breath away. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it’s enough to make me find my breath. It is enough to make me slow down, breathe, be polite and realize that I will get where I’m going even if I drive more mindfully. I will probably get there with less stress too.
The other drivers may never know the internal choices I make each day as I drive, but at least I know that when they see my license plate they have a chance to get a positive reminder of peace. That’s enough to make even the Jersey girl in me offer up a peace sign.