LIHU‘E — Last Sunday and Monday, the International Day of Peace was celebrated on Kaua‘i, filled with festivities and colorful bumper stickers with messages of hope created by Annaleah Atkinson with the Interfaith Roundtable of Kaua‘i.
Atkinson, creator of the “Love Succeeds,” “You Matter,” and “We Are Love Zillionaires” bumper stickers, explained why she created them.
“My hope is in creating them was to help others strengthen that part of themselves, remembering the love that we are, rather than focusing on all of the chaos in our world right now,” Atkinson said. “People are so stressed, mental-health issues and domestic violence are both rising.
“Love is a balm when applied,” said Atkinson.
Atkinson said she remembers years back when the U.S. was on the brink of war with Iran, and an email from an Iranian couple who had no desire for a war with the Americans.
“It went viral, and soon there were many sending that message, and then many Americans replying back,” Atkinson said.
According to Atkinson, the first bumper sticker that reads “Love Succeeds” is a message of hope.
“Many people who are religious believe that our creator is love, which always succeeds,” Atkinson said. “People who have no relationship with God can still relate to memories of love succeeding.”
Atkinson said the second bumper sticker, “You Matter,” was created because all lives are precious, and a part of all of us.
“The thought is ancient, but the sticker is symbolically color-coded,” Atkinson said. “It is for the immigrants who have been treated inhumanely, seniors who are ignored and can’t get the care they need, people who are harmed for their sexual preferences, and for races and ethnicities devalued by others claiming superiority over them.
“We all matter. Our creator is love, and created us all with equal amounts of it. No one has more than another. All deserve respect and love. We are unable to know enough to judge others,” said Atkinson.
Atkinson said the final bumper sticker, “We Are Love Zillionaires,” was inspired by a deep understanding of the root of conflict.
According to Atkinson, many psychologists agree that the deepest need that people have is to feel that they are lovable, can love, and are loved.
“If we believe that our creator is love and that when we were willed into being, it was our creator’s love that was being extended. We are therefore also love, and can never run out of it,” Atkinson said. “Have you ever tried giving all your love away, and found out that you still had more when you wanted it?”
For info, call Atkinson at 652-7743.