Helena, aged 15

From your point of view, who embodies action for peace and how? Inspire yourself with a personality or someone from your entourage.  

Jim still remembers the green leaves in the summer. By the lake he and Elsa were embraced like intertwined roots of a tree. Above them was the mosaic of vivid yellows and greens coming from the flourished branches covering pieces of the sun. The foliage, so strong and beautiful sang in the warm wind; unlike the creased and craggy leaves crinkling under his rapid steps, leaving Elsa and the others away. This brown skeleton of the leaf’s core is a meagre representation of the healthy and sturdy plant life that inhabited the earth just a few months ago. A bit like him, he thinks. His whole body feels like a fragile image of what he was just a few months ago.

Jim’s tired legs remind him he is finally home. Or is that what he could call it? Such a sterile, cold place has nothing of the ideal home Jim remembers, the one with Elsa. Could she have changed so much? Her hasty passion and impulsive desire to change the world led her astray and stirred up a felling of annihilating anger, destructing all ambitions they had built together.  Their aspirations, kindled by the fresh feeling of naivety, comprised just one dream- that of eternal peace. Their dream turned into a battle they dedicated their lives to. They wished for the buoyancy of placidity, for the freedom of disturbances, the absence of causes to fight for. They wished for the light, flimsy weightlessness of being. They wished for peace.

Exhausted by the load of recent event, Jim crushed his heavy corpse against his bed. His body curled up in the dent in his old the mattress, and, holding his blanket tightly, he lured himself to sleep.

Night fled in a panic when the dawn’s strokes of sun revealed what was buried behind the thick curtains in Jim’s room. Morning’s gentle graze opened his eyelids, and his concentrated gape was directed at the ceiling. The white space was filled with intruding thoughts of Elsa. Before leaving the crowded room where they all gathered, Elsa muttered to him in a toneless, factual voice, ‘You’re a coward, Jim. You’re too weak, too delusive. We have set up something real going on here, the fighters and I, and you’re just walking away…’  Too angry to listen to her, Jim had left them in a hurry heading for the exit door. But he had heard it. Is he weak as she affirms? They had come up with the idea to start these gatherings with the objective of waking peace in themselves and in each of their participants. Dag Hammarskjöld words; ‘Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each of us. To build a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just.’ hanged in bold on the wall of their little gathering room. Their goal was mutual, the understanding between them was clear. She was the one who distorted their beautiful battle. Her anger was too strong; she took her ambition to extremes. Her desperate grieving and greedy desire to help knew no boundaries. Her actions, fuelled by her fierce passion, have created machines of the participants. ‘Fighters of peace and freedom’, Elsa called them. She trained them. For several months they stood side by side with her, mentored by her philosophy. She designed and created them. She bred them until there were enough. War machines nurtured by hasty anger. She was going too far. Hammarskjöld’s words on the wall were fading to white, dissolved by her acidic thoughts. Jim had to stop it all. Peace is a frail state of mind, one that cannot come from annihilation or from Elsa’s beliefs. With this in mind, Jim asked himself, “Who embodies peace?” He knew the answer, and, smiling to himself, he glanced through the window. Autumn’s leaves descended in a dance-like manner to the warm comfort of Earth. The falling leaves will soon join the many other individuals assembled together in the fertile ground. Together this orchestra is just a misleading hoax. The falling leaves gracefully ascended with glory, and the bare tress stand proudly with their strong, naked branches. They all know this illusion is the foreshadowing of a jovial and blithe summer created with the efforts, participation and nurturing of each individual, frail, leaf.


About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
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