Photo by my brother Peter. =)

As a child, every Easter brought me a new little stuffed rabbit and my brother a chicken. Enter Chick Chick, the lovable and beatable bean bag. He was part toy, part musical instrument, and part target of my and my brother’s bullying.

We would sit on him, squish him into the cracks on the couch, splat him against the wall, and squeeze his little head hard enough to try to get his beak and eyes to pop out. It never worked. 

We loved Chick Chick and tested his limits fiercely.
He looks it.

If you believe in synchronicity, one of the greatest actions we can take in fostering world peace is to cultivate inner peace: Healing what shaman Dr. Alberto Villoldo calls “inner violence against ourselves”.

My brother and I took our aggressions out on Chick Chick, but I know I also took out my own young aggressions on my younger brother.  I’m working to be gentle with myself on this topic– I’m pretty hard on myself these days as an older sibling.

Last month, I texted my brother and asked if he remembered Chick Chick.
“Chick Chick?!” he replied, with a “Chick Chick 2022” photo (pictured).  

Well gosh– it looks like there’s a little tear glistening in Chick Chick’s left eye, but also a little smile in his beak.

Bright and peaceful springtime to you.  May you remember and honor the Chick Chicks of your life, with self-compassion and lessons learned.  

Speaking of peace, for an enlightening lesson on the history and effectiveness of non-violent protests, here is the latest episode of Shankar Vedantam’s Hidden Brain podcast “How to Change the World”.