It happened from August 15th to August 18th in the year 2019, exactly fifty years after Woodstock and in the same historic location. It was the World Peace Gathering, the largest assembly of its kind ever. It was a coming together of artisans and people from around the world, representatives of every major nation and many smaller one, for the expressed purpose of raising global consciousness through artistic expression, focused on a single, immutable truth: People want peace and peace begins with me.
Early the first morning people busied themselves with setting up tables, easels, work benches and stages, preparing to tap into the rich vibration that the gathering had cultivated in them. Kilns, cooking fires and ovens were all stoked-up and lit, ready to bring life to their creations. Portraits were drawn on paper, scenery was painted on canvases, forms were sculpted from clay, all manner of tiles, dishes and pots were cut, pressed, shaped and formed. Bright colors sprung up everywhere, matching the growing din of music and singing blossoming there.
The scents of freshly-baked bread and hundreds of culinary wonders from all regions perfumed the air, another art form in itself. People broke bread together, shared tables and smiles and laughter. People toiled at their art tirelessly, the surge of creation driving them on. As the day drew into evening, more fires were lit and the songs grew louder. Soon all voices were raised in a union of rhythm and harmony, and eventually there was little else happening but a joyous noise that permeated the masses and unified their spirits into one.
People helped each other without hesitation. No task was left undone for want of someone to do it. Nobody was neglected or left behind. Nobody went hungry nor thirsted. For those three days, thousands of people – writers and poets, sketchers and painters, musicians and singers, even cooks and bakers – worked as a peaceful, harmonious community, proving to themselves – and, ultimately, to the world - that people could not only coexist but thrive by working together towards a common goal.
Even now, a decade later, these songs still resonate in the hearts and minds of people. The art created on those three magical days was more than incredible; it was revolutionary, world-changing. Each piece spoke to people as part of a greater whole, a cohesive work of art that marked the beginning of a new age of man, an age of great peace. It planted the seed. It made people realize that it was the governments, the ones in power, who waged wars, who had always begun them; not the people, to whom the world rightly belonged. Only governments profited from war. And people were always the ones who paid the price, even those on the ‘winning’ side. But people now understood that no one was an enemy; we’re all brothers and sisters on this planet. And now they realized the truth: People want peace and peace begins with me.
The World Peace Gathering (also known as The W.P.G. or, more commonly, The Gathering) was the most important milestone for peace since the historic concert that took place in that very same location fifty years earlier. It gave people real hope, hope for the future. And it inspired global political change. There were despite desperate attempts of fear-mongering, the kind that had worked so effectively for governments in the past, but the people knew better. They knew that the only real enemies they faced were the governments that had kept people divided with fear and hatred ever since there were governments to do so. Those governments were quickly ousted, in the wave of peace that grew from The Gathering, and replaced by much smaller governing bodies whose concern was the welfare of the people rather than their own selfish gains.
And the world came to know an era of great peace and prosperity unrivaled in modern times. And it was all based on a simple precept, forged in those three fateful days, that still holds true today: People want peace and peace begins with me.