The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Early on I put stock in the peace symbol. Somewhere in the 1960s, I zeroed in on the V sign. With extension of the index and middle fingers, the outward palm motion would, without a doubt (at least in my mind), prompt tranquil reactions, if only by members of the counterculture.
Unbound by language, the sign has since been universally accepted as a declaration of goodwill and is as convenient for personal use as our own hands. Theoretically my hunch about the token was that its timely use could soothe the savage beast in ourselves and in others. With hope, I remained confident that if tested, the little V would bring all parties to their knees in equanimity.
Even though I am supplied with an earth suit that some might call namby pamby, I was convinced that I packed the only heat I would need should hostile territory arise. Arise it did. That would be about 1995 as I unconsciously pulled out of the Whitthorne Middle School parking lot into oncoming traffic at about 6 miles an hour.
In defense of my namby pamby self, one of my daughters had dropped some sort of emergency topic whose response required utter attention and brilliance. Well, it had been a long day. The hostile bell of unfriendly territory rang out over the 'life is a school' air and a woman of rage swept past us with full body engagement of the car horn.
As we timidly followed her speed demonish vehicle to the next light, a hush fell over our car. In remorse, I accepted the responsibility of my poor choice with gratitude that the heart stopping consequences were over. Or so I prayed.
The stoplight was interminable so much so to stir the crazed woman's ire. She leaped from her car window and as she approached our hunkered down bodies, I looked at my girls, put the car into park and pulled out my peace symbol.
Needless to say, she retreated in shock, but I like to think that we were stunned beyond words and there we remain in memory with something to think about. To this day, if I had her name and address, I would take a pudding in offering to seal the treaty. I'd be optimistic of a peaceful outcome because tapioca is good for what ails.