Saturday, July 3, 2004

War in Peace

Isn't it just like peace to start a war?

I think it's ironic - yet predictable - that an entry entitled Peace (with a question mark nonetheless) would evoke such rage.  Everyone will always have opposing views.  No matter how peaceful I try to live my life, there's always that dichotomy.  Duality.  Again, it's an opportunity for me to choose ... love or fear.

I can look at this as a reflection.  I thought for sure the peace sign would stir up anger [even if it were on an economy car, or my bike or skateboard - some means of transportation other than a gas-guzzler].  But according to one commenter, it doesn't matter what symbol or message I choose to put on my SUV. [small, bottom of the line, 4-cylinder, 2-wheel drive SUV that is].  Still the SUV alone becomes the rageful symbol.

I'll admit - I even said it the other night - when I see that big ole peace sign as I approach my car, it makes me a little nervous.  It's a bold statement.  It's a big label to wear - scary.  It makes me think about who I am and what I believe.  It reminds me that I'm accountable for my own actions.  I know what the symbol means for ME.  And that's all that matters.  But there is definitely a stereotype that goes along with that symbol - with any symbol.

Think about what comes to mind when we see symbols such as a Fish or an Om or a Rainbow, just to name a few.  Even the American Flag stirs emotions.  That's not even mentioning symbols that are known for evoking rageful emotions - i.e., the swastika.

But, there is free speech - and this is my message.  As Donna commented:  "good thing we have freedom of speech hey?!!"  Yeah.  It really is.

I make no apologies for the SUV I drive.  I love the safe feeling driving in the city.  I love the reliability.  I love that I worked hard to earn the biggest purchase I've ever made.  I don't own a home.  I don't spend frivolously.  I live a simple, meager life - by choice.  And I don't condemn those who choose to live otherwise.

I'd like to thank one commenter for another opportunity to grow.  Without her reflection I might not have gotten to this deep level of appreciation for who I am and what I believe.  I don't condone the way in which she spewed and lashed at me personally.  But I'm not without rage.  When something digs under my skin, I'm the first to react.  I hear her anger about the economy.  It's my opinion that her rage goes much deeper than the economy.  For that, I have compassion.

This is my journey to peace.  And you are all welcome to join me...or not.


irun01 said...

Having learned "things" about you from reading your words, I honestly believe that you are the type of person that goes out of their way to protect peace.  You can proudly and honestly display the peace symbol on the back of your SUV, because that is who YOU are.  It is what you believe.  It is what you strive every day to live.  Of course the symbol will stir a wide range of emotions.  If it didn't, then the symbol would be meaningless.  Be happy with your choices Rock Star.  You work hard.  You spend wisely.  You deserve the things you have.  

txsguinan said...

I LOVE the Peacemobile and no one deserves to sport that symbol more than you do, freeegirl!  

That it still has the power to provoke and inspire is something I find encouraging.  You have chosen the peace symbol and all that it stands for because it IS you;courageous, compassionate and kind.  It would make me smile every time I saw it.

PS ~ I have a Darwin fish on the back of my Rav4.  Do you think that's too 'hegemonic' of me? ;)

sistercdr said...

Flaunt your symbol and be proud.  Regardless of what you do or say, there will always be someone out there ready to criticize, condemn or tear you down.  Your journey is an admirable one.  Stay with it.

mallory4284 said...

This makes me almost glad that I only have a few reader/commenters at my journal. I'm definitely not as level-headed as you, Freee, I would have taken the comment way too personally. But I think you handled it better than I would have. And I have to agree about the comment that she must not have read the journal in previous weeks. Otherwise she would have known why you bought your SUV and how long it took you to find the perfect one for you.

I love your "peacemobile". And the newest addition to it makes it all the better, I think! Get to feeling better!! And have a Happy 4th of July!

-- Mallory :)

billbinford54 said...

I don't put anything on my car, flags on my house, etc.  You are free to do the opposite but if half the people end up disliking you, don't say you didn't hear it here first. I think half will dislike it because the concept is so nebulous.  Would you have been against involvement in WWII; am I to let myself be robbed without at least throwing a punch; etc.  

freeepeace said...

IRUN - True about symbols stirring a wide range of emotions.  Even when I see a peace symbol on the back of a van in Venice, there's an immediate image that comes to mind.  That's why I say I know what the symbol means to ME. At the same time, I know it could be meaningless to others.

GIGI - Thanks love.  I always feel like you *get* me - probably because you do.  And now I know what to look for if I'm ever in The OC ... walking fish. :P

SISTERCDR - Right on. True. Thanks. :)

MALLORY - I'm not always level-headed girl. Don't think for a moment that I didn't have a major reaction to the lashing at first. I take things very personally. But I'm learning to really understand our humanness.  React. Wait. Write/talk. Wait some more. Reply. Delete. Sleep on it. Reply again. Edit. Save.  Some day I hope to be able to do that in split seconds.  Happy 4th to you too.

BILLBINFORD - Good point. I hear you. But I don't put things on my car to get a rise out of people. I do it for me. Whether I'm liked or disliked, it's out of my hands...symbol or none. We're human. We make judgments - about everything.  I'm assuming your questions are rhetoric examples of what the peace symbol might mean to you/others.  As you say the symbol I chose is nebulous. It's the perfect sign for me. Keeps me from being labeled, pigeonholed or molded into formation.

gatorspictures said...

it's a big label to wear...but it fits you perfectly! display your peace sign on your SUV with worries. c

isabelzmia said...

Freeeeee!  Hey, at least she didn't tell you to 'get out of this country!'  [see my journal entry on observations] ... :::sigh::::

I think the prospect of the upcoming elections are making people crazy.  So many people lashing out in self-righteousness.  You hold your own, you hold your piece, you drive your car, and be proud.  The rest?  Aaah, fuggetaboutit.

XO, Isabel


johnn60504 said...

As usual, Trish has a lot to offer - peace to her own detractors, while we are all bashing them.....peace to all of us.  I'm impressed, and learned something!  Trish, you are an inspiration!  A level headed, calm, spiritied individual.  I admire you....I wish I had your tempermenant, and your wisdom.  

Warm regards,


krobbie67 said...

Funny, I would never think that a peace symbol would stir up anger. How could anyone be against peace? But, yeah, when you align yourself with anything people call you to a higher standard and forget that we are all imperfect human beings. Does anyone understand the concept of Grace? It's a beautiful thing when seen in practice.

I thought the woman was attacking your choice of car more than she was the symbol you chose. But once again it's an all or nothing in this world. There are people who actually have a need for larger vehicles and one of your other commenters made a valid point regarding work trucks and what not. Yet, you are automatically labeled a gas-guzzling eco-raping slime ball for doing it. Once again, I ask for a bit of Grace to be extended before we fly off on people. However, I'm not so sure I would have handled it as well as you. You did beautifully!

:-) ---Robbie

quroboros said...

I dealt with a similar incident recently & you should probably read this:

There's a big difference between constructive criticism and being verbally assaulted without reason.  I would not have done the soul searching & introspect you have over that commentor's remarks.. it isn't worth the bother you've gone to.  ¤Holly

indigosunmoon said...

I'm so sorry you were attacked the way you were.  There is nothing wrong with driving a 4 cylinder vehicle!  Good Goddess!  Your SUV probably gets better gas mileage than my car does!  
Frankly...I love the Peace sign.  We could all use a little bit of Peace, thats for damn sure.
Love ya,

fdtate313 said...

Loving the peace sign!
Loving the peacemobile!  If you have to drive an SUV (and you do), it's a lot better to be driving a small Honda than a huge Chevy Suburban.  It's also a lot better to drive a new Honda SUV (with good gas mileage and excellent emission controls) than a 16-year-old Lincoln Town Car.

babyshark28 said...

I read her journal, just to get an ideah of her.  and well, I have an ideah.....but, I am going to keep it to myself.
one thing I have learned about's a hungry beast, and I do not want to feed it.
great entry freee.  I'd take a ride in your peacemobile anyday. :)

grassriver said...

Your car is great! But that is not what I want to say. The way in which you lead your life is inspiring, and does not need to be justified, in any way what-so-ever, to anyone.
I wonder what Kathleen typed her comment on - she obviously has AOL and a computer. Time Warner owns AOL and half of America - they are among the leaders of capitalism. She pays them her fee every month and makes a HUGE contribution to what she has the audacity to accuse you of - She can reap the benefits of capitalism, but God forbid you drive an SUV. Hipocracy at it's finest.

miarenee24 said...

I can think of NO one better than you, honey, to represent that symbol! Thanks to you, I've learned to also search for growth during my journey. You've been like a sister across the miles.  

If you pulled the dogs behind your bike in a wagon and had a peace sign on the back of it, there would still be some ignorant person with a misinformed opinion. This is America and yes, we have freedom of speech; unfortunately, there are people who abuse that freedom. I admire the way you choose to use that right.

If only the rest of us could put as much energy into "peace" as you do. What a wonderful world it would be.
love ya

lucylouladybug said...

You don't have to justify yourself to anyone, but when you feel you do, you always do it with grace and style.  When I saw the picture of your new vehicle, with it's peace sign, I just saw YOU, and that's good as far as I'm concerned.
Love you girl, and I hope you're feeling better too :)
Happy 4th of July, let Freeedom Ring!

karensull12 said...

Here's my take on the whole SUV thing...When vans were the rage, no one got into an uproar over the gas those things chug (and every other vehicle on the road was a van of some sort).  My husband is in the car business and his company sells SUV's along with other types of cars.  I drive an SUV, as does my daughter, as does my husband.  My son drives a Grand Marquis, which is NOT an SUV and it guzzles more gas than any of the SUV's.  So if driving an SUV makes me a me.

billbinford54 said...

I normally fight against government regulations.  However, one area that desperately needs mandates is the height of bumpers.  How useless it is to have bumpers if half the vehicles out there have bumpers that either go over or under mine.  We all would be safer and spend less on insurance, if there was one standard place for a bumper. I do not blame manufacturers or the purchasers of vehicles, because this is clearly a place that the federal government should have regulated a long time ago under the "general welfare" clause.

hempenhomespun said...

Wow, I disappear for a week while I teach the theatre kids Marlowe and all hell breaks loose in J-Land.

Freee, you are one of the sweetest, most open, most accepting, and most enlightened people I "know."  I was stunned to read the attack on your Peacemobile.

I, personally, am not fond of SUVs ever since the unpleasant man in his Cherokee pulled out in front of me and smashed my tiny little Neon to bits.  But I'm not about to condemn ANYONE for driving one . . . well, as long as they realize it's not their own personal tank.

I'm glad you've gotten something out of this experience besides anger or frustration.  You're an inspiration.

deabvt said...

Freee, I`m with you...In the Reserves, in the late 60`s, I had a peace sign in my truck!!  [ my Army truck!]

deabvt said...

What`s going on with the poor new dogs?

lacapp8 said...

Hi Free.  I don't even have the energy to read this whole SUV controversy.   Besides I drive a big ole Jeep Grand Cherokee that I LOVE.   It doesnt make me a bad person.   People love to start controversy, yes.. duality, yin yang, all makes the world go round.  

So anyway, thanks for your reply in comments. I do not have a blog or website.  Thinking alot about starting one.   For my art, photography and expression.....  

I ordered your CD, sent you a check & can't wait to receive it.    

peace and good will to all.   life is beautiful.

sepintx said...

Well don't you take that peace sign off either! I see very few of those symbols down here and it's a little sad that I don't.

luckyaugustgirl said...

Free- I think your on the right journey. I just think sometimes maybe others are at different stages in their own, and thats why we all dont get along sometimes. But you know your own path, and if this is something you truly believe in you have no reason to be afraid, be who you were born to be. The rest will take care of itself..... :) I know that sounds corny but you do have every reason to be proud of yourself! Dont let others get you down! Hope you are feeling better soon! - Sarah

myairmnsangel said...

I think that the peace sign on the back of the SUV is cute.  I also think the SUV itself is cute.  My husband and I want one because of where we live (America's Tundra) and because we plan to have children one day (space deff needed).  SUVs are a popular vehicle up here in ND.  If that person has such a problem w/ that vehicle then she needs to come and drive in 2 feet of snow w/ ice on the roads in a tiny little car.  Let me tell you its not fun.  I did it everyday this winter that we were here.  Not to mention the SUV would be able to handle ski gear and other needed equipment.  Well, I hope you feel better soon.  I've been there w/ the mono before.  Keep up the good work on the journal.  Have a wonderful day.


slowmotionlife said...

While I understand some of the economic issues related to the SUV, I certainly don't think you have ANY reason to apologize or feel bad about your purchase of one.  OR for whatever message you decide to display. I'm glad you were personally able to turn this attack into a lesson learned, that you were able to reflect on it and come to this deeper level of appreciation for who you are and what you believe.  You are admired and loved!

jeffcomedy said...

I am coming into this a little late, so I apologize for that.

And what I would like to say has already been said by other people.  Your research, the reason you got it, and the character of the person who left the comment.  So I won't bother to say any of it.

Just letting you know I was thinking it as well.

sonensmilinmon said...

I've missed several entries and had to do a bit of reading.  My son drives a SUV and I LOVE all the things I can do when I have his truck.  Anyway, he did a LOT of research in finding the vehicle that would meet ALL his needs.  I'm trying to write this at work, and the phones are going CRAZY!


musenla said...

We are all free to make our choices and you chose the best one for you.  Your reasons for purchasing an SUV are valid, IMO.  You didn't buy the car to show off or run the other drivers in L.A.'s freeways off the road.  

Personally, I probably won't buy an SUV.  No matter how small, they are classified as trucks (because of the chassis) and have a tendency to roll over.  Needless to say I would not even look at the Hummers, which I find absolutely ridiculous esp. in the traffic and smog in L.A.  I mean what are they gonna allow on the road next, tanks?!

s0ngbird1962 said...

LOVIN' your peace sign Freee....  It's so, so, so you.  You don't need to explain why you bought an SUV, it's a great car and perfect for your needs. This is America people.  If ya don't like it, move.   If someone wants to rage about some wrong in our society, I can think of many other worthy causes.  I did go to K. journal to browse and left a comment.  Peachy is right, my comment opposing her views didn't last one minute.  It was deleted, she left a comment attacking me & I'm not allowed to comment anymore@@.....   No loss, no room for *ugly* in my life.  

Hey, how are you feeling?  Getting better??  

lacapp8 said...

Que Pasa freeee?   I will pay for a fed ex, ... I WANT my TM CD  ;-)   get it, like i want my "MTV"    la la la capp  

montaukny said...

{{{Freee}}}  Sending you love & peace!  Had some catching up to do with your journal since I was away & was absolutely stunned that some people out there would have such unreasonable reactions to your car!  It is up to the ::individual:: as to what kind of car they buy, what suits their needs/lifestyles/etc, & how they choose to decorate it's nervy to say the least of those other idiots out there!  Maybe we should start judging those who drive a Rolls Royce, a Bentley, or are driven around in a!  Myself, I drive one of those "soccer mom" type of cars ~~ a '96 Nissan Quest (a minivan) ~~ yet I don't have kids, nor plan on ever having them.  I just like the spacious-ness of it, it's a fun car, & lots of room for all my bumper stickers, 'cause I have plenty to say all the time!  Love ya, sweetie!  ~Aunt Nub~