Evolution, Revolution, Patience


3 things to inspire 1 story written in 20 minutes. #story320

words/phrase provided by Dad

He’s still sitting there at Capitol Hill on the steps of the Capitol building. Eighty-something years old with a leather vest, jeans, and a red, white, and blue bandana. He’s still waiting.

He’s sat there through a couple of major wars and a few dozen minor conflicts. His sign never changes “give peace a chance” it says, but it would seem to the outside observer, that peace needs context and that context is war.

I heard people talk about the hippy octogenarian. They say things like “It’s easy to be peaceful when you never try to do anything” or “You don’t get peace without war.”

Is the opposite true? You don’t get war without peace? I’ve wondered. Is this man’s 60-year protest, antagonizing? While some men die, others sit and hold signs? Is that antagonizing?

I’ve thought about asking the old man my questions. I’ve thought about asking him how it felt for other men to have fought proudly for what they believe and die for it? How did he feel about protesting their sacrifice?

I’ve considered asking him about the evolution of man but I realized by watching him that man’s mind doesn’t evolve. It’s a stubborn and unbending thing, especially when the odds are stacked against it.

Evolution only exists in nature and not the unnatural minds of man, who question everything.

I’ve considered asking the old man many questions about war, foreign and domestic policy, the value of human life, and revolution. I haven’t because I think that when i look at that man, the questions only arise out of my own insecurity.

Do I have the strength of character to sit at the same step for 60 years? Could I stand for something so staunchly, even thought it doesn’t affect my day to day life? Is that man my enemy or am I my own?

One day I walked by the steps and the old man wasn’t there. On the local news that night a short segment was dedicated to him.

I watched and changed my mind, a little. It wasn’t about the forces to which he opposed or the forces which other men fought, it was about being a force. All protests come to an end. All war comes to an end. The only force is that he stood for something. It could have been war, it could have been peace.

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