World Peace at the Stop Light

Last week we had a horrific wind storm.  Those of us living on the west side of the state (Michigan) took note due to the record wave sizes that were recorded.  But I noticed something else.

On my drive home at perhaps one the more active intersections on route, a street light was out. Initial moments of  ‘what to do’ passed rapidly unlike the cars that typically would.  Instead of unleashed chaos that one would expect, there was complete civil peace.  We all knew what to do.

In the current tumultuous state of the world where absence of leadership lets the values of those in opposition diminish… what I witnessed was rare.  Here in a cross cultural part of town, every demographical representation encounters each other.  Tonight as we approached what appeared to be a skeletal, spend shuck of a light still swinging hauntingly in the wind, we all knew exactly what to do.  For the first time in what feels like decades, the public, with all its opinions, needs for immediate result, egotistical reverence, ceased and unilaterally embraced one rule… voluntarily.

World peace model on Division and Franklin Streets.

The light was out… treat it like a 4-way stop sign.  It was that simple.  And no one took advantage of the other.  We all took our turns.  I was so incredibly peaceful and inspiring.  I was left with wondering where else in our life, in our world can we pull the plug on the stop light and fall back on our natural selves with trust in each other and patients with the situation?  The checkout line at Meijer? The waiting process at parent teacher conferences? What about on a larger regional scale?


One thought on “World Peace at the Stop Light

  1. During the blackouts and brownouts years ago in New York City, this scene was repeated at many intersections. A few people spontaneously directed traffic, and were heeded. With no one to blame, people took responsibility. There’s also an ability to sense movement cues, as in flocking – the way birds flock, or people walk in large crowds.

    On a different note, have you found the Charter for Compassion, which has been presented to the United Nations in hope of becoming part of the UN’s charter?
    It’s a brainchild of Karen Armstrong, a theologian, made tangible through a grant from TED. Her latest book: Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

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