April 23, 2010: Live in the moment, accept yourself and others, by Courtney Monzon

Last summer, while I was in Colorado, I had the opportunity to visit the Columbine Memorial, which commemorates the 12 students and one teacher killed in the 1999 school shooting.

It made me realize the way that we treat others deeply affects other living beings. The two students who started the tragedy at Columbine High School were victims of badgering and intimidation by their fellow students.  True, we all have the ability to destroy or neglect life, but we all have the choice to help live peacefully among one another by supporting and caring for other living beings.

The one thing we all know is that we are alive and want to go on living. We are all brothers and sisters, no matter what race, color, religion or sex we are.  We need to stop and think about our words and actions toward other people in our community and world.  We must always think about what we do and say to others. Sometimes that doesn’t always happen, but we must take responsibility for what we do.

Everyone experiences pain inside, and at times we may feel angry and upset. But we need to find someone who understands our suffering.  When you understand a condition or person, most of what you do will help. We all should practice nonviolence and also express it to others. To show nonviolence to others would be showing love, gentleness, kindness, joy and respect.

As living beings, we may experience feelings of jealousy. Feelings of jealousy can turn into hatred. I know there are many times when I felt jealous of others, but I have learned how to accept myself for who I am.

Promoting peace within oneself will help bring on peace within the community and world we live in.  It depends on each and every one of us.

I believe people take things for granted, especially life. Life is precious, but yet every day people who rather than enjoying their life at the moment are living in the past. They may be angry or worried about something that had occurred awhile ago, when they could have been focusing on what was happening right then and there.

We all need to learn how to accept ourselves, be at peace with ourselves and live in the moment.

— Courtney Monzon is an eighth-grader at Concordia Junior High School, and is the daughter of Jerad and Debra Monzon.

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