Peace…an Elusive Dream?

Living in these humble pages of my life, I have always thought of innumerable dreams equated with myriad possibilities for the future. Some of these include waking up one day receiving my diploma, making my parents proud, and, as an educator, instilling a positive difference in the lives of my future students. Apart from these, there is one desired dream which remains on hold.

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A dream of a peaceful place that everyone can call HOME. Is this still an elusive dream?

After the recent experience that we encountered, when can we achieve the lasting peace for our dear Zamboanga City? What can we contribute as young leaders to help the other leaders in finding a solution to this? When I visualize these ideas in my mind, I can sense that fear embraces my entire being and leaves me struggling to wake up from the nightmare of fear and terror.

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Courtesy of philstar.com

Back in September 9 2013, many people were severely affected by the unexpected attack and the siege. More than a hundred thousand people were displaced and up to now are still suffering to have the most basic needs such as food and shelter, and even continue to search for truth and justice. Fear dominated our people, and fear surrounded our hearts. I, too, continue to fear that such an attack will happen again.

Fear destroys a young person’s dream of having a peaceful and vibrant life. If we are deprived with freedom to do the things that we want, human rights will be violated and our human dignity will be affected. And if we continue to live in fear, in conflict, in terror, or in chaotic circumstances, we will fail to recognize our dignity as humans.

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Courtesy of rappler.com

In the recent news, certain attacks happened to the other parts of Mindanao. We the youth have a big role in this society. It is important to free ourselves from becoming one of the victims of terror and crime. All we need is solidarity in our community. In our own little way, we can contribute help. Now is the time for all of us to unite with cooperation and vigilance around us and never allow bad intentions to harm our neighborhood. Each one must have a concern to our place, our home. If we have this mindset, all of us will be solid in the fight against atrocities. Add to these we must also be understanding of the different cultures surrounding us.

That dream of living in a peaceful place will remain a dream until the next generations to come if we do not act today in concerted efforts and in utmost concern for the future of the children. And so, I end this entry with my recent #FoldsofHope posttatin-4:

I hope that one day, the spirit of solidarity among people of different races and religion will rule the world and will continue to uphold human dignity and freedom in every way. I hope, too, that true love, mercy, and compassion will reign in everyone’s heart so that people will work hand in hand to end the sufferings of many poor victims of wars, senseless killings, and extreme poverty. I am hopeful that society will realize and open their eyes that though some have not have experienced these kinds of cruelty themselves, does not mean that these things did not occur. Therefore, in the name of humanity, I hope that they will act to ease the pains of others and stop these all the chaos because I believe that the evil will triumph if good men will do nothing.

Lasting peace, an elusive dream? I don’t think so.

Written by Justine Grace Fronda, a WYA certified member and member of the WYA – Ateneo de Zamboanga University Chapter.