Reject no one, accept all. Just smile and wave. Make love, not war. Spread kind vibes.
All of these sentiments, and many more, are reflected on small, colorful circles attached to an 8-foot peace pole — similar to a maypole.
"People can put whatever peace means to them [on the circles] and write on the peace pole itself as well," said Lawrence Gerstein, director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. "We're spreading the message to people and making commitments to spread peace."
The purpose of the pole is to honor those who have died over the years in April as a result of tragedies and to promote nonviolence on campus and in the community, Gerstein said.
Some of the most horrific acts of violence in recent history happened in April — the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people, the Columbine High School massacre where 15 people died and the Virginia Tech massacre that left 33 people dead.
In addition to the temporary, moveable pole that's traveling around campus this year, a permanent peace pole will come to campus in April 2018. Gerstein said he doesn't know what the design of it will be yet, but they're working with the Glick Glass Center to figure things out.
"The face of the pole will have 'peace' written in the many different languages spoken at Ball State — a diverse representation of the language of peace," Gerstein said. "Hopefully by doing something positive and displaying a commitment to it on campus, it'll ripple."
Molly Gates, a senior child development and child life major, wrote "Love yourself" on her colorful circle. Her reasoning is that people need to be able to love themselves to love others.
"If many people are involved, there could be a chain reaction to see what people think peace is," Gates said.
The center hopes to get 3,000 circles strung onto the peace pole in the next three days. The pole is in the Art and Journalism Building until 5 p.m. today, the L.A. Pittenger Student Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Bracken Library from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday.