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My Grandma’s piece

My Grandma’s Piece

     Who knew oratorical contests could be so theatrical. There were some tough challenges. After school practices and going home late. So many things I could not eat. No cold drinks. No meat. No junks. I cried a couple of times. I lost weight. Lost time with my friends. Some dramatic details I prefer not to discuss. But my teachers held my hand through all of it. The journey was tough but it made me a better person and I am thankful for the opportunity.

      I was luckily selected to be our school’s representative in an inter-school oratorical competition, twice. My teachers believed in me. That moment I knew I should do my best to represent our school and give justice in their decision of picking me. Out of all the ones who auditioned, me? They picked me. They must see something in me that I don’t. Actually I did not expect  that I would be the one. They have so much trust in me than I do for myself. That is actually what teachers are good at. Bringing the best out of every student. Helping them get out of their shell. Molding them to reach their highest potential. I have not thanked my teachers enough, so this blog is for you. Thank you to all of my teachers who made me and a contributing factor of who I am today. Teachers are close to my heart. My lola, mom and aunt are teachers as well.

      I’ve asked my mom if she had experience joining contests such as these and confirmed with laugh “Yes, I also debate”.  I could not believe it. I come from a line of orators and debaters. That boosted my confidence and thought to myself, it is in the blood. I asked my lola if she could write my piece for me and she gladly said yes. It was comforting performing a piece from one of your relatives, even more special because it was my grandma’s.

So this is the  piece my Grandma wrote for me. I actually won third place for this one.

I dream of a land in which we children can dwell in safety and security, where the surrounding is free of war, the citizenry earnest and disciplined and generous to each other. A republic where the police has little to do, for people ”police themselves”

What would be my role in today’s battle for peace. Oh, it’s question difficult to answer because peace is a huge concept, and of course, it is something we all want, something we strive for.

But, as it is peace is still an unresolved problem. Globally and locally, we have problems of terrorism, war, kidnapping, nuclear terror and many other crimes that make peace seems like an impossible task.

These are some of the realities that exist in our midst that I can recount to demonstrate the severity of how peace is crashed in the societies today. Yes, there have been hundreds of efforts to bring about peace, but still they are not enough – we need to double our efforts to achieve what we always dreamed of — PEACE!

It is in this light that we examine ourselves and propose dimensions for building a culture of peace – for healing the past and building the future of present and coming generations.

I believe in few things – simple things that youth can further do to help promote peace. We must help build and promote a culture of peace at home, in schools and in our respective communities. And before we can do that, we need to have peace within ourselves. We are only capable of becoming agents of peace when we have inner peace – ensuring that we possess love, understanding, compassion, respect, responsibility and forgiveness. We should be capable of transforming our own unpleasant feelings like anger, into something wholesome – like understanding or patience and be able to influence others. We must let our voice be heard by participating in the peace process in whatever little way we can. We must move from apathy to action…

I was reminded by the article of Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, “The Best Picture of Peace”

There was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artist tried. The king looked at the picture. But, there were only two he has really liked. And he chooses between them.

One picture was a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for the peaceful towering mountain all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white cloud. All who saw this picture thought it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too. But there were rugged and bare. Above was of angry sky, from which  the rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful.

But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush, a mother bird had built her nest. There on the midst of the rush of angry water sat the mother on her nest – in perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?

“Because”, explained the king, “peace does not meant to be in place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. This is the real meaning of peace.”

In today’s battle for peace, when the world is succumb to misery, destructions, war, hatred, jealousy and many more maladies we need to stand firm and peace them with peaceful heart.

The song of St. Francis de Assisi reminds us this way:

Make me a channel of peace.

Where there is hatred, love.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is injury, pardon.

-The Wonder Boy

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