The Exhibit‎ > ‎

Kanagasabai UmaShankar

Kanagasabai UmaShankar is a teacher, coach, and mentor at Mount Rainer Lutheran School in Tacoma, Washington.

Interview by Sam Adams, May 2014

   To me, peace involves how one approaches a difficult situation, not just a lack of turmoil or violence in their life. Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ are able to overcome much more than they could by only relying on their own will. I have learned this through countless times in my life when I have panicked or tried to fix things using my own strength and have failed, both in times of war and in everyday life. With Christ as my role model, I have been able to take a step back and see the beauty in the souls around me. This has given me the strength to give myself up to the cause of working with and encouraging them to live as He did. Through this, I encourage peace and have also discovered an inner peace.

My work at Mount Rainer Lutheran School as a teacher, coach, and mentor allows me to instill in youth that love for other human beings which is vital to peace not just within our local community, but for the community of the world as well. When we learn to love one another in a Christ-like way, we cherish humanity in a much deeper way and fully understand how bringing harm to them, for any reason, is one of the most atrocious acts we can commit. The violence we see take place in the world, both from believer and non-believers, shows how disconnected we have become with one another and with God. It is through living our lives as He did that we can treat each other with love and respect, and strive to make our world reach that point where violence is no longer the norm. While absolute peace may not be possible due to how fallen humanity is, by promoting peace when and where we can, we can come as close as we can to Christ on Earth.

While things like financial security, relationships, and work may still be a cause of stress in my life, my job has allowed me to clearly see the ways in which I can help others and find my purpose in the world. This helps me put things into perspective when I consider what is important in my life. Material wealth loses its luster when I see the good that people can do for each other no matter what their social or economic situation may be. This gives me the strength to look past all of that and focus on what’s important – helping the world out by promoting peace. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to do so through my work at Mount Rainer Lutheran School. The students I work with are a daily reminder that the world I live in is full of amazing people, and helping create a world filled with peace is the best way to honor the gift that God has given us.