Now that I’ve discussed the dark side of human greed and American capitalism, I’d like to discuss a word that goes to the very heart of the matter. A word that answers the question; how we can somehow all learn to live together without driving each other crazy, tearing each other apart or ripping each other off? Respect. It’s something we all desperately need more of, not just to get but to give; to ourselves, to each other, to this teeny little rock we all share called Earth.

This original design is one I came up with after seeing the original Coexist bumper sticker at my local health food store. I remember being so blown away by the genius of it and the depth of its message that I was actually envious I hadn’t thought of it myself, but then when I thought about the design, the symbols used and the overall meaning, I started to ask myself, “how do we coexist?” Then the answer came to me.

*** Warning! Warning! Sappy Liberalism Ahead! ***

Respect is at the heart of every philosophy that people live by, or at least should live by, because it’s truly the only way we can get along and learn to live side by side without hurting each other or ripping each other’s heads off. Respect for one’s self , the people around us and the planet we all live on. It’s really not that hard. It’s called the Golden Rule. But why is it that with so much religion and so many followers of those religions that our world is on the brink of social, economic, and environmental self-destruction? If everyone simply incorporated this one word into their daily lives, filtered their words and actions through its true meaning and respected the basic rights we all have; the right to exist, the right to peace of mind, and the right to choose (tempered by responsibility for one’s actions and respect for the basic rights of others), then the ability to coexist could someday be more than just a clever saying on a bumper sticker. But it takes 100% participation for that to work, so the best place to start is with one’s self. Think good thoughts, say good things, do good things, buy a bumper sticker Wink, and who knows what might happen. You probably won’t change the world but if nothing else you’ll create some good karma for yourself and the people around you.

In this design, I used the Earth in the letter “R”, the female symbol for the first “e”, the yin yang symbol for the “s”, the peace sign for the “p”, the male symbol for the second “e”, the Muslim crescent with the Jewish star in the center for the “c”, followed by the Christian cross for the “t”. Symbolically, it could be translated as “Respect, for Earth and the people of Earth, with peace and balance between men and women of all religions”.

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