Make Peace Your Way This Holiday Season!


By Harnoor Gill

I always wondered about the meaning of peace; whether it is a conflict resolution or more than that. I realized that it was more than a conflict resolution after making connections and bonds within my community. This helped make me stronger as well as an integral part of my growing community.

Recently, I had the honor to attend the YMCA Peace Medallion ceremony in Mississauga, Ontario. YMCA states that “We build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities”. Their message is great and inspiring! Values we all share, such as care and support, enrich our community by lending a hand to someone in need. YMCA involves many values of peace building in our neighborhoods. For example, nurturing someone’s life without expecting anything in return is one form of peace. We can all promote peace in each other’s lives by taking an extra step forward. We can also enlighten many lives in this world by donating our time/money, new or gently used clothes/shoes, perishable/non-perishable items and dry food.

Also, we can spend some time at senior centers or invite an elderly person to make them feel welcome at home. In addition, spending time at volunteer centers during food drives is an amazing opportunity to celebrate and inspire other like-minded individuals to do the same. There are millions of ways that we can choose to help someone. You just have to set your mind and go for it, just like watching a movie!

We can make our dream to fulfill the wishes of another. Contact your local children’s aid centre to see if they are looking for some help. Or check out at least one volunteering opportunity, I am positive that you will find a way to give back to your community!

We can also go green this festive season by making wise and smart choices. We all can avoid heavy paper wrapping and alternatively use recycled paper or even a fabric bag that can later be reused. Carpooling is another great way to make our community greener!

This holiday season, do something new that you have never done before like going to your conservation area and helping them with their educational activities. Community parks and recreation centers are always looking for volunteers, so make your holiday spirit special this year and celebrate with your community. Happy Holidays and welcome to the year 2012!!

Harnoor Gill is a grade eight student in Ontario.