Each month in 2017 OUTLOOK is featuring individuals who are actively involved in peacemaking with their families, friends and communities. The following interview focuses on Yary Jiménez.
What does it mean to be a person of peace?
A person of peace to me is someone who follows the character of Jesus. Someone who seeks for the good of the people around them. A kind and loving person who is truly concerned for the well-being of others, with no exceptions.
How do you try to make peace at home or work?
The way I try to make peace is by giving people reassurance about their value. Words of encouragement, acts of kindness and learning how to practice active listening are all important. I show people they matter by telling them how much I care for them and want to listen to their stories.
Can you share a specific example?
One example of this is the relationship I have with my dad and my brother. When things get difficult, instead of turning against each other, we talk to each other. We aren’t afraid to say how much we care for one another. Living far away from each other has made us learn how to appreciate the little time we have together. We make the best of it by saying how much we love and value the moments we spend as a family. I think peacemaking starts at home, and it feels good to make the people you love feel better.
What is a quote about peace that you like?
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” —Mahatma Gandhi
What is a Bible verse about peace that is meaningful to you?
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”
(1 Peter 5:7 NIV).
Can you recommend a good book about peacemaking?
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is the story of a Pakistani schoolgirl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban in an assassination attempt. Malala is the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Read the amazing story of how Yary escaped violence and came to study in the United States in From Bullets to Textbooks
—Yary Jimenez works in communication at AdventSource in Lincoln, Nebraska. She grew up in El Salvador and came to the U.S. to attend Union College, where she recently graduated with a degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations.