Cinco de Mayo and an empty piazza

Wilting flowers, Joseph L Alioto Piazza, 24th Stand for Peace, May 5, 2012
Wilting flowers, Joseph L Alioto Piazza, 24th Stand for Peace, May 5, 2012

25th Stand

It’s hot again today. We stand in what meager shade we can find. We expected the piazza to be bustling with Cinco de Mayo celebrants setting up booths, getting ready to party. Surprisingly, we share the park with only our “regulars” and the homeless who slept here last night.

We know the biggest celebration today will be at Dolores Park, but we’ve become accustomed to seeing every occasion marked here at City Hall and find it odd that Cinco de Mayo, a huge event for so many of our city’s population, will be unobserved on this, the city’s ceremonial ground.

Standing here, seeking ways to make peace in the world, I am mindful that today marks a celebration of a war-time victory. Hundreds of men died that May 5, in a battle for a small puebla in Mexico. Once again, the battle was about greed and money.

I yearn for a world in which greed has no place, where money is of no use. I yearn for a world where each of us does our part, and where art, music, and time with Nature are far more important than Gross Domestic Product (GDP). I yearn for a world where, like Bhutan, Gross National Happiness (GNH) is the mark of our success as a society.

Text and image © L Kathryn Grace – All rights reserved

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