Sunday, August 22, 2010

Positive Picketing

So the other day I'm walking to the Juice Joint to pick up lunch and I noticed a protest going on down the street from my office.

It wasn't so much the shouts of the people walking in a well-organized picket line that caught my attention as much as the giant inflated RAT in the back of the pick-up truck!   I had never seen anything like it, so I had to take a picture and post it on Facebook.  (One of my FB friends illuminated me: apparently this is a "union rat" ... ohhhhhh)

ANyway - I started thinking.  (OUCH!)

Why is it that people only seem to make a big noise about negative things, like unfair pay?  Or protesting against something they don't believe is good and right, like the anti-gay protesters.  Why is it always so negative and ugly?

And then I remembered a video a friend of mine had sent me a few days back, about people in Germany or somewhere giving away free hugs.  (On further reasearch, there's apparently a whole movement about free hugs... Go check out the Free Hugs Campaign.)  I loved the concept - it's positive and reminds people that there is good will and kindness out there in the world, and most importantly, we're not all alone.

As I walked back from JJ, I decided to walk on the same side of the street as the protest and check it out a little more.  I was interested in how much fun the participants were having.  Yes, it was a protest, and they were angry about how they were being treated, but ... they were having fun!  They were chanting and singing and dancing and it was a joint effort.  They had water and shade for people to sit and rest if they got hot and tired (98* in the sun), they had a leader shouting out the chants, and they switched off that role so no one got tired out.

And I wondered...

What if we had positive picket lines?  What would happen if a bunch of people got together and set up a picket line to publicize something they LIKED?  Can you imagine a big line of happy, dancing, chanting people walking around in a circle ... say in Lafayette Park across from the White House, saying "We like Obama!"   Or maybe in front of the Verizon Center saying "Let's go CAPS!"  Or maybe something more lowkey like giving away free hugs in front of the Vietnam Memorial.   Wouldn't it be great?

I don't know.  There is just too much negativity out there, so I just wish we had more "acceptable" ways of celebrating the positives in life.   Or maybe I've just got stars in my eyes.

I'm gonna figure this out...

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Loooove this idea. There was a 'free hugs' guy on the mall on the 4th of July. Also, last week at Ocean City (MD) bunches of people were hugging Shrek (the Ogre - ok a guy in costume). He had a 'tip jar,' so it wasn't free but we sat there fascinated watching kids alternating between fear and joy as they approached and hugged.

So ... I'm with you. Let's go positate something (yes, I just made up a word.) I mean "protest" sounds so positive! Let's do it.