Friday, September 16, 2005

Sock it to 'Em!

Sept 21st is International Peace Day. It's just one day but peace is important enough to dedicate just one day in a year toward attaining it. This is .274% of a year. That's not much. If you assume everyone sleeps 8 hours a day and, if you further assume that everyone can refrain from violence during sleep (harder for some than others,) this is only .1827% of our lives in which we have to mindfully consider peace. If we can't manage .1827% of our lives without violence in the world, we should maybe consider de-evolution. (There's a Star Trek:NG episode featuring this, you know.) Hey, Miss Beauty Pageant, this is World Peace -- exactly what you've been looking for!

As a parent, I know that you can't simply say "stop it" and expect ancient habits to die. Have you ever tried to get a two-year old to stop sucking on her thumb? Neither have I because I let my kids have pacifiers which I had to break them of by convincing them that their pacifiers were plotting against them. Usually, however, you have to replace an inappropriate action with an appropriate one.

"Taking your sister's toy is NOT nice! Hugging your sister is NICE. No, don't hug so hard. She's turning blue! Go find your pacifier!" But you get what I mean.

Eventually, the kids learn to amuse themselves by making stuff out of anything they can find including your precious 18th century antique spittoon. For example, my daughters have discovered the joy of turning those massive bags of single socks that linger in the laundry room into puppets which they use to give voice to their thoughts and fears so they can feel better about themselves without "borrowing" each other's stuff.

So, in a world where violence, war, and destruction are so common, we'd need a diversionary tactic. Ideally, this would be the precise opposite of the action we are trying to prevent. Like the "hug your sister tactic," I'm thinking "International Hug Your Enemy Day" is not going to go over big, however. So I propose sock puppets.

On this day, people around the world should dig-out a mismatched hole-filled sock and spend the day decorating it. For those who would point out that many people in the world don't have socks let alone leftover socks I say: I can take apart my clothes dryer and find enough to fill-in the gap. Once, when we had to repair our dryer, we discovered not only a huge pile of socks but currency from three different countries!

It is paradoxical that we can aid in the pursuit of world peace and violence reduction through socks since one of each pair of socks is an emotionally unstable clone trying to "off" the other one to gain early retirement. Oh, you know it happens. Do you think we simply misplace one of each pair? Certainly not! If we repurpose these "socks of violence" we may just teach them tolerance and peace. They may learn to discover joy in warming the feet of mankind. They may simply give-up on violence against their brethren and work in harmony with their partners. In this way, they can act as models to the rest of the world, changing aggression to harmony, one pair of feet at a time.

In any case, if the people of the world, like my children, are engaged in alternative acceptable activities like making sock puppets they won't be able to put peanut butter on the dog.

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