One wonderful thing about being retired is that one has time to think and make big plans. Sorry, there’s no money involved—just a big idea passed on throughout the land by observing a lowly safety pin. Stick with me. This might start something worthwhile. We can be in on the plotting.
While shopping in the grocery store recently after another week of senseless shootings, my friend told me she wanted to hug every person she saw. One might be arrested for such behavior, but there must be a way for all of us to connect to combat the relentless intolerance we’re seeing in our country.
In England many people are wearing safety pins to show their support of immigrants living in the country. With the Brexit vote, we see a rise of prejudice and racism there. Many people are wearing safety pins to demonstrate their empathy for immigrants.
According to the Cambridge English dictionary, a safety pin is a pin with a round end to hold the sharp point so that it will not stick you, and you will stay fastened.
Remember how in the 20th century college coeds wore fraternity pins carefully pinned above their hearts? I don’t know if that happens these days, but back in the day it signified “pre-engagement.” How easily safety pins could show both engagement and solidarity with others in our country.
Here’s a proposal for us living here and now: It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, where or how you live, or where you fit into the “wealth” spectrum. The more shades of skin and uniforms participating, the better. Democrats and Republicans do not have to declare party affiliation to join in.
Wear a safety pin above your heart. It will say nothing and everything. It could be as simple as “we’re staying fastened to one another.” Rather than the “buckle up” admonition before driving or riding in a car, we could ask everybody to “fasten up.” I’m not sure police departments or other professions requiring uniforms would let employees wear safety pins while working, but they could wear them when in civilian clothes.
I’m thinking we could borrow this idea from England and spread it throughout the land. I assume I’m not the only senior skipping the Pokémon GO activity. Other silly ideas have been marketed and made millions. Think pet rock, hoola hoop, Cabbage Patch dolls. We’re not aiming to make millions; we just need to spread the word in our own way. How many people can you reach by email? Like those politicians asking for money daily, we could begin with our friends and ask them to pass it on. We could post on Facebook and tell folks to make our message go viral. Use your imagination to reach out to the masses.
Maybe makers of safety pins would like to increase their pin prints (as opposed to foot prints). It could be a “job creator.” At least, if we all wore safety pins above our hearts, it would keep us aware as to how we Americans can join together. We’re on this planet for a limited time. Let’s use our time wisely. Let’s show our support for one another. Safety pins fix things, so let us help to “fix” our people.
Isn’t this is a simple but perfect way to show connectedness? There aren’t many tools simpler than safety pins. “I’m on your side” would be plain to see—on the outside of clothing. It might also open up conversation between folks wearing pins. School children might come up with their own versions of what wearing safety pins means to them and their friends.
Let’s all get out those extra pins sitting around in drawers and put them to good use with everyone you meet. Let’s start a worthwhile revolution—bringing us all together in our shared time. We could make a big statement. We could help to ameliorate the current circumstances and enrich lives rather than destroy them. What do you say?
I’ll begin now. I have a huge safety pin which is not a leftover diaper pin. (Remember those days before disposable diapers?) Big pins like that might make a huge statement—as long as we get the word out so the rest of our world knows we haven’t gone mad. We’re proclaiming our connectedness to the human race. Easy to make. Excludes no one. It would mean something tangible worth working for—justice and equality for all.
When you think about it, this is every bit as good an idea as the pet rock was. Pet rocks didn’t DO anything. Let us begin to act in a small way which could have “ripple effects.” Join me?