The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

September 2, 2013

HARRIS: Let there be peace

By Tiffany Harris
Guest Columnist

---- — The Clinton Peace Coalition is asking community members to share their thoughts on peace in anticipation of this year’s Stop the Hate / Show the Love Annual Walk for Peace on Sept. 19. This week, Tiffany Harris and her youth group at Washington Middle School wrote about their thoughts on peace. This year’s theme is “Peace begins with…”

Peace Begins With…

Peace begins with me: By helping our future leaders understand what peace means and why peace is a benefit to us all. Knowing how to seek love and placing peace before power. Understanding the importance of being tolerant, living peacefully, and seeking forgiveness instead of revenge.

All human beings share the same wants and needs, and there are many ways that we can make our community a peaceful environment. We don’t always need a big group to make a difference. Small groups can make a difference that can spread to others.

Our youth today are faced with more stress and challenges of fitting into an ever changing world and being accepted by their peers, but despite that, youth continue to have a great sense of what peace means to them.

I ask youth from Washington Middle School what peace means to them and here is some of their responses:

Taylor — “Peace means to be nice and kind and helpful.”

Harleigh — “Peace means to be calm, helpful and refreshing.”

Mckenzie — “Peace means to be kind.”

Kassidy — “Peace means to be respectful and to treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Jasmine — “Peace means to me no fighting.”

Maleq – “Peace means no fighting, being a good friend and being kind.”

Gabby – “Peace means quiet, not being loud and being nice to others.”

Kiah – “Peace means being quiet and fun.”

Justie –“Peace means being Quiet calm and steady.”

Blake – “Peace means no hunger, no war, no pain and no violence.”

Abby – “Peace means freedom and happiness.”

There are many things that could be done to make our community a peaceful place. We can make the entire world a more peaceful environment if we start with the communities in which we live first. Small things like holding the door for someone can become infectious and lead to bigger acts of compassion and peace.

The Clinton Peace Coalition invites community members to show their support for peace in our community, by participating in this year’s Stop the Hate / Show the Love Annual Walk for Peace on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Pre-walk activities will begin at 4:45 p.m. at Clinton Community College, with the opening program beginning at 5:15 p.m. The walk will begin at 5:30 p.m., concluding at Ashford University with a short closing program and refreshments. All are welcome to attend this free, community event. The Peace Walk is planned by the Clinton Peace Coalition. Members of which are comprised from Clinton Community College, Sisters of St. Francis, YWCA-Clinton, Ashford University, Prince of Peace Schools, Unity Center of Clinton and community members. For more information about the Peace Walk, please contact Mardell Mommsen at 244-7006 or visit the YWCA website at www.ywcaclinton.org.