I Count. And That’s Only One Reason Why I’m Participating In The Largest Human Peace Sign Concert.

On Saturday September 21, 2013 thousands of people are being brought together at UBC by Kindness is Key to form a human peace sign, and support the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and Mercy Ships Charity Hospital.  It’s the kind of thing I would have read about in the paper and thought:  Cool – a bunch of really passionate people are getting together to do something fun.  Hope it all works out for them.  

There was a distance I had put between between myself and the things my soul truly feels strongly about; at some point in my early college years I told myself that I wasn’t savvy enough or strong enough to make a difference. I ignored my soul-whispers, tucked them away under a pile of  responsibility and logic, and I was bored. I felt out of sorts, like I was parading around in an ill-fitting sweater. My life was missing something huge and in the end, it turned out the big, beautiful thing I was missing was ME.

Since my decision to walk through that door back to ME, I have been met with amazing people and wonderful opportunities – like writing/working with Kindness is Key and The Largest Human Peace Sign Concert. The absolute BEST part is that I haven’t had to leave anyone I love behind; my husband and kids have walked through that door with me. It makes me smile that bringing my kids to work means exposing them to art, charities and this bunch of really passionate people getting together to do something fun – and meaningful.

The Largest Human Peace Sign Concert is not only a global celebration of peace and kindness, it is my personal celebration of returning to the strong beliefs I came here with and my journey toward my heart’s calling.


The concert begins at noon and festivities carry on till 5 pm with the formation of the peace sign happening at 2 pm.  There is absolutely nothing like standing shoulder-to-shoulder with people I love and strangers alike, with the shared purpose of goodness. Literally, bodies will be counted as we attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records (current record is 5, 815 people) but symbolically, it reinforces for me that telling myself all those years ago that I couldn’t make a difference…was an untruth.

Last week I had a 48 hour period of turmoil. I mean, tears constantly spilling out of me and this heavy blanket of sadness draping my shoulders that made moving through my day a little tough. This has happened before, often right before a major breakthrough, a realization or a change in direction for the better. But during that time I wasn’t sure if it was the same thing – I couldn’t see how I was going to get out of it because I didn’t know what was bringing me down in the first place.

I was chopping vegetables for a roast chicken dinner when it suddenly struck me: I was feeling awful because for days I had been witnessing some very unkind (vicious even) exchanges on the internet – on blogs, in articles, in those free-for-all comment sections that end up becoming tangential, hateful slingshots. It helped to realize what the trigger was, but how was I going to feel better?

I’ve been telling my kids that everyone comes from Love and that when others act in ways that hurt others or themselves it’s because they feel far from Love. And here were these adults – parents themselves – ripping each other to shreds, judging each other, and creating this space that literally brought me to tears.

Was I wrong in my beliefs and in what I want to pass down to my kids? Was it just a waste of my time? 

And somewhere between chopping carrots and peeling yams, I felt a strength return: I am not wrong. At my very core, I know that kindness and love and peace are my driving forces. When the going gets ‘tough’, I am not going to ignore my soul-whispers again and pretend to be someone I am not: someone apathetic, someone who has no faith in myself or humanity. In fact, I need to do the exact opposite. Because no matter what state the world is in when I leave it, I have the potential, today, to make it even a smidgen better than it is now.

We all do.

So while John Lennon’s song, Imagine, is being sung on Saturday September 21 at UBC; while Vancouverites enjoy the positive vibes emitting from Matthews Field on a day proclaimed by Mayor Gregor Robertson as Kindness Day; while our children are entertained by clowns and music and are inspiring us to love life, I will take another step in my journey and count it as a blessing.

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  • Susan

    Loved it Taslim. I got goosebumps at the end. I’m sad to miss it this year, but my own journey has brought me back to my roots for now and maybe forever, who knows? I’m missing my lovely grandsons in Surrey, but basking in the joy of my lovely granddaughters here in PG. 🙂 xoxo Susan

    • Taslim Jaffer

      Thank you, Susan! We’ll miss you this year but you must go where your journey takes you 🙂 Hope to see you next time you visit!

  • Sandy McLeod

    Thank you for sharing such heartfelt emotions Taslim . . . loved it! I can so identify with your “soul whispers”. There often comes a time in our lives when we need to re-evaluate what is truly important to us, what makes us happy to our core. Sounds like the Peace Sign Event will definitely be a time to celebrate your personal journey, as well as on a global level, world kindness. Your children are so fortunate to have such a loving, kind, and thought provoking Mom. The tools you are passing onto them are priceless and will help them in all aspects of their lives forever. With love, Sandy 🙂

    • Taslim Jaffer

      Thank you, Sandy, for your kind words. I’ve really enjoyed our talks; it’s so obvious from them how important family is to you and I love connecting with you on that level.

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