Nov. 19, 2010: Take responsibility for bringing peace to your life, by Leah Haden

November 19, 2010 by

The dictionary defines responsibility as “being accountable for one’s actions and decisions.” Every action we do either promotes peace or causes distress. Personally, I want to be responsible for peaceful actions.

Peace is a commonly debated ideal. Pageant contestants often mention “world peace” in interviews, but talking about a behavior and actually practicing that behavior are two different cases. Newspapers, television and other media report acts of anger, fear, and destruction. Yet if we’re all striving for peace, why do we keep reading about all these violent actions? Why is it that we desire peace, but rarely experience it?

Here’s a thought: Who are we waiting on to take the first step toward peace?

It seems that most people wait around for peace to come from others. People seem to believe today that world leaders, teachers, celebrities and those in authority are the only ones who are responsible for peace.

But I believe we have just as much of an impact individually if we initiate peace in our daily lives.

Peace can be practiced in any way in any place. It can start by greeting someone you walk by, by offering to run errands for a neighbor, by giving good advice, by being available to listen, by showing a smile or by taking part in a conversation. All of these seemingly small actions create harmony, which is what peace is all about.

Gandhi said it best: “Be the change you want the world to be.”

If you want to experience peace, you must be the one to take responsibility for it. Every action is watched by someone. Others will then see how you act and imitate it. It’s a chain reaction. People will start to hold you accountable for the peaceful attitude you share.

Don’t wait for another person to initiate peace in your life. You might be the one that other people are waiting on. As Psalms 34:14 says, “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

— Leah Haden is a senior at Concordia High School and is the daughter of Rick and Kelli Haden.

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