Victory Over Violence Essays by Robert Wilson (1st Place) - Marc Miller (2nd Place)
1st Place Entry by Robert Wilson
Love is so personal, so subjective, there must be 8 billion ways to define it, all of them valid. Everyone has a unique vision of what love is and what it demands from us. Ideally, Love wants the good of the beloved. When you truly care about someone, you want them happy and safe and free to pursue all the goals of their hearts. If there have to be challenges, you want only those obstacles that make a triumph out of effort. You want to protect them from tragedies and hardships that could cancel their dreams for the future.
When you love someone, you want good things for the ones they love too. We are all interconnected, children, friends, parents, siblings. When anyone is suffering, it threatens everyone’s security. We want to give the ones we love a world where everyone is happy, secure and free. Worldwide poverty threatens all life on the planet, yet it could be eliminated by redirecting less than ten percent of the world’s military spending. This is only one example of how a little love can go a long way.
If you really loved someone, it would not matter that their lifestyle and beliefs are different from your own. True love will value freedom too highly to judge anyone based on those terms. Real love will look only for that person’s well-being. The world is at war today because of prejudice and intolerance. There is a desperate need for sanity to heal the cycle of violence, where being hurt leads to hurting others.
Love is not a light bulb. Turning it on does not make the monsters go away, but it will give you the courage to make a stand. Love is not a lifeline, but it will make you throw one. It will help you recognize you have one in your hand. Compassion is the antidote to strife and misery. Even those with the least potential can exercise qualities like consistency, bravery, and openness, empowering their compassion with positive action.
All of love’s lessons offer a clear path toward promoting security and creating a better world. By listening to the stirrings of compassion and kindness in the heart of every one of us, we may become stronger individuals, ready to help those around us and serve as an example to others. You are the best expert on how to improve your own life. Only you hold the key to becoming more loving. The world’s nations are made up of individuals; being true to one’s own definition of love will make your own community more loving by the power of one.
Essay Written By GBCS Student Takes Second Place
Marc G. Miller-
How Do Human Beings Become More Peaceful?
Lose the all consuming “I “; let go of the self absorbing attachments. Those humans who are fixated in these ways, especially Americans, put on airs by being greedy, living by the attitude of “He who dies with the most toys wins”, never being fulfilled or satisfied with what they have. Lose the need for more, bigger, better, faster, all enveloping attachments.
Everyone just wants to be happy! Why let anyone or anything get into your mind and live there rent free? Let them be. Pray they will find the True Path. Have compassion. Be mindful first, slow to react, quickly to think, and examine your thoughts. Put yourself in every sentient beings shoes, as it were.
Do good deeds for everyone, not just your friends and family. There are a million plus ways of showing the world how to be a more peaceful place. It isn’t rocket science; it starts in your heart and soul. You already know in your heart what to do to be more peaceful… For me it’s a weekly random act of kindness. I wait for an opportunity to arise, which doesn’t take long in here (county jail). Anything from giving someone a shot of coffee or a candy or soup, to a phone call to their friends or family when they are broke and can’t afford one, makes a huge difference to people in here. My kindness offerings are not always perceived as “just” being nice, but that is ok. Most of the time the person’s day is made happier, causing me to feel good which results in a reflection of that positive energy from me, thereby “rubbing off” on people around me. Being kind also makes me feel a little less judgmental, and more accepting of people. Clearly that should have profound implications toward our interactions with everyone. IT IS A POSITIVE CYCLE!
You can start out by dedicating one day a month to doing a random act of kindness for a stranger. You should do this covertly, no boasting about it. Then gradually make it two days a month; set a personal goal to do that once a day. You will be amazed how fantastic it makes you feel-- rest assured you will feel amazing!
How Do Human Beings Become More Peaceful by Carmel Gutierrez
How do human beings become more peaceful?
Hello, please allow me to introduce myself my name is Carmel Gutierrez and I am 29 years of age. I was born in Gallup N.M. but I grew up as a homeless teenager on the streets of Albuquerque and during that time of hardship within my life I saw just how violent and cruel people can be. I’ve seen people get stabbed, beaten, shot, robbed at gun point and hurt in many other ways. I thought that I had seen it all, but then one day I turned on the news and I saw a plane being flown into one of the twin towers. I remember sitting there awestruck as I was watching the live footage of the second plane hitting the second tower. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; never in a million years could I have imagined human beings to be so cruel that they could just kill so many innocent people. As I sat there I remember just feeling so mad and sad at the same time. But mostly I remember being overcome by grief watching as people jumped off the top of the buildings plummeting to their death. I remember feeling so much sadness for their loved ones who like any other day were looking forward to them coming home that night. So as I sat there I had to ask myself what have we “humanity” come to in order to hate each other so much. What could we have done to deserve such a cruel and hateful act of aggression? At the time I did not have a reply, but what I did have was a heart full of anger which screamed out for retribution. In the days to follow I saw our nation rise and come together as our voice was heard in unity by all the nations of the world. I even remember seeing the people of my community coming together in support as they too could only empathize for the loss of so many human lives. But it was then that I realized that it had actually taken such a devastating attack upon our country for us to finally unite as a nation. Again I had to ask myself is this what we’ve come to? Only being a nation who is willing to stand next to the brother or sister next to them in order to fight? I mean is this what it takes for us to finally come together as one? What happened to our world that we as a human race can no longer stand together as one in peace, love and support? I believe in order for us to truly become a humanity of peace, we have to learn how to forgive one another and remember what it is to have and to show human compassion to all. Because after all in the end it’s only compassion, empathy and love that defines us as human beings.
Pursuit of Happiness by Shannon Pollard
Pursuit of Happiness by Shannon Pollard
Before I moved to New Mexico
I never thought that I deserved to be in college
Because In California I got bad grades, skipped classes,
Didn’t care about my life and played the victim in high school
Now I’m pursing an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree
In Liberal Art, Education and Creative Writing
I wasn’t sure if I had what it takes to lean on God’s faith
To complete my classes and do well
In that secondary education knowledge
But I passed my summer with a B+
In my life I’m known to be late for everything I attend
Yeah, I was always on that black people time
Waking up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready, eat
And also catch the bus to a summer class
That starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends 12:50 p.m.
Every Friday for 3 months was difficult
But I learned to make sacrifices and
I never missed a day of class
I had a bad habit of being a procrastinating excuse maker
But I was tired of wasting time,
I hated proving people right about me
I was tired of my family treating me
Like I was a burden on them
And having haters trying to destroy my spirit
So I could do what they want me to do
So I pushed passed the negativity and I never fell behind
I’d never had a scholarship before
But my first year in Central New Mexico Community College
I received 2 scholarships and I’m going for another one
My mentor used to tell me repeatedly
That anything in life that’s worthwhile takes hard work
So try, when it doesn’t work try again and
When you feel like giving up, try even harder
Because a man has no excuses, rich or poor
Now I know 100% that anything is possible with God
And a lot of effort on my part
So I won’t ever quit, I’ll stay motivated till I have nothing left
Because I’d rather die trying my best than live with regrets
Where I Come From by Brian Johns
Where I Come From
I come from the West Side
I come from Broad-Way & Kirk-Town bound
I come from OG’s selling dope and shooting dice
I come from if you aren’t known, it’s nothing nice, from
Crack head’s fighting over hits.
I come from a broken home where a father don’t mean shit
I come from a mother that shows only tough love
From a mother that put drugs, guns, and dope selling in front of me,
A CHILD, so I thought that’s what it was.
I come from nothing,
Hoping to be something.
I come from where jail is where you become a man, and where you
Barely got one leg, so it’s hard to stand.
I come from where fresh clothe’s, and tight kicks mean more then studying and shit.
I come from a road that doesn’t lead anywhere good.
I come from thinking about ways to get on that right path because in the end I’ve seen where I’d end up at.
I come from always keep your gun because you never know if you will be the next one.
BUT, the man I am now has seen, done, and lived it all I’ve reached the ground I can’t fall.
So as I get back up, I know what’s up, and exactly where I’ll end up.
This is where I come from.
Blue Sky by Melvin Reano
The Blue Sky has opened its arms for me today.
There is a big blue smile in the sky and the smile
Watches me wherever I go.
I hear a voice coming down from the sky, it’s like
A whisper, but it’s strong enough to vibrate my soul.
The voice says, “I love you, and everything is gonna be all right.”
The sky says it has been watching me since the day I was born,
My struggles, my battles, my good days and more.
The sky told me that when I am lost, lonely and sad,
He cries for me, hoping too wash away my worries.
Sometimes it has worked and sometimes it has made things worse.
When the dark heavy clouds come,
And the rain begins to pour, that was you, Sky.
You cried with me and for me and when the rain was gone,
The beauty of life shined again.
You are right, Blue Sky. Everything will be just fine. You are
My breath, my happiness, my sunshine
You are my big blue smile in the sky
That watches me from above.
Desire by Melvin Reano
Tilting, tapping, smacking, packing, laughing,
It started off lazy and calm, now sweat’s dripping off
I wipe my face, I think the world is a disgrace
I can’t look up ‘cause I’m so far down.
I can’t look down ‘cause I’m already on the ground.
If I look down my face will be in the dirt.
All I got in this world is this person who loves me so
She helps me with everything I need,
I don’t even have to beg or plead.
Sex, clothes, shoes and cars, I need a drink
‘cause I think I’m falling.
Falling in love and falling for you, I know this might be lust,
So what do I trust?
Do I trust in you or do I trust in myself,
Or do I ask for help from a god that never
Answers my prayers?
My skin is in layers, tattooed with sin and polluted.
My mind is deluded.
The Past by Melvin Reano
Don’t look back now.
Now would be the time to don’t look back.
Don’t back track the past
‘cause then you’ll have a flashback.
You’ll put on a guilty hat.
Your mind will be trapped.
The only way to come out is with a slap.
Reality check, pinch yourself.
Yeah, you’re still alive.
You have a chance to survive.
Where You From? by Melvin Reano
Did you come from Heaven or did you come from Hell?
I can’t tell.
I can’t look into your eyes because the pour out both goodness and hate
And for that you can be compared to a metal stake.
You might drive it right through my heart and tear my life apart.
Your eyes sparkle like diamonds but when you cry
They drip like red wine.
You can’t aim in your eyes the sunshine.
Your scent scatters me across the land like hail
In a stormy night.
Your kisses are like butterflies that land on my body
And lift me up to party.
You turn a hero into a coward,
Like a dragon that devoured a mother and father
When their kids wake, they’ll be lost in the abyss
Acrostic by Edward Tenorio
Worry, I worry a lot
Angry, I am always angry at myself
Rainbow, I like rainbows
Delightful, I am delightful
Me by Edward Tenorio
Gentle, Dreamer, Lonely, Tense
I am the youngest of five kids, son of Martha and Edward.
I like to go hunting with my father
And I like to drink coffee with my mother.
I like going to the mall.
I feel lonely and depressed sometimes.
I am afraid of going back to prison.
I would like to see me finish this program.
Just Because by Edward Tenorio
Just because I’m in MDC
And away from my family
Doesn’t mean I don’t think of them
Doesn’t mean that I can’t come to school and educate my mind,
And doesn’t mean that I can’t show my mother that I can succeed in life.
Just because I can’t see my kids ‘til they turn 18 years old
Doesn’t mean I don’t miss them a lot and I think of them all the time.
When is the CO going to call my name to go home to my family? I hope when I go to court this month.
I hope that when I go to court that I won’t get sentenced back to prison.
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