I have never placed a sign in my yard; a fact that became painfully obvious when my sign was dropped off and I had to ask where to put it. And then after seeing other signs in my community, I realized that I had placed my sign 90 degrees off of the norm, facing the street instead of being perpendicular to it.
I have never had a desire to put a sign in front of my house. Most of the signs I have seen as I drive through my community are to promote a certain political candidate, a ballot proposal, a particular home remodeling company. None of these signs have ever swayed my opinion on any given topic, so I figured, what’s the point?
Yet, when I heard about the Together For One Royal Oak sign campaign, I did not hesitate for a moment. Sign me up! (See what I did there?) A couple of weeks later, I proudly pushed that sign into the ground in front of our house, albeit facing the wrong direction. A few moments later my seven-year-old studied the sign carefully, head cocked to the side.
“Mom,” he said, “This is Chinese and this is Spanish and this is English. Hate has no home here,” he read. “What does this sign mean?”
“It means that we love everyone. It means it does not matter what country you are from, or what religion you are, or what color your skin is, or who you love; we just love everyone,” I told him.
He looked at me, skeptically, “Why do we need a sign to say that?”
In his seven years, he has never known anything but love and acceptance and, in his mind, there is no point in a sign that states the obvious.
Why do we need a sign to say that?
Because, even today, we are all not treated with the same love and acceptance that my son has known his whole life. Because that is not okay with me. Because I want to leave a kinder, more inclusive, world to my kids.
But actions speak louder than words and the sign is more to me than a statement of what I would like the world to be like. It is a reminder to me to make use of every day to help foster a community that is inclusive; a community that not only recognizes diversity, but celebrates it. Every time I come and go from our house, and I see my awkwardly placed sign, I renew my commitment to myself, my kids, and my community.
As a wise colleague once told me, “Be the change you seek!” The sign keeps me energized and focused to be the change that I seek.
The sign connects me to people I have never met, in communities that I never visited; but we all share the same value of inclusion. The Hate Has No Home Here movement began in the North Park Neighborhood of Chicago and has spread to many communities throughout the United States, including mine.
You can contact Together For One Royal Oak to learn about the “Hate Has No Home Here” sign campaign and the other works they are doing in their community by visiting their Facebook page.