2007 Sixth Grade Forth Place

Erin Choe, New York.

What does compassion mean to you?

Compassion or Violence?

            It would be nice if compassion was the greatest influence on society. We could use our knowledge and resources to stop diseases, world hunger, poverty, and prejudice. However, as we look around us, we see more examples of violence than evidence of compassion.

            We observe violence and murder all over the world, even genocide in Darfur in Africa. We know these crimes are happening, but who is using compassion to put an end to tragic examples of man's murder to man? Violence seems more widespread in the world than any compassionate event. Where did the United Nations and the "civilized" countries of the world go? Why aren’t we sending billions of dollars to stop the violence and relieve the suffering of innocent people?

            We have already spent around four hundred billion dollars to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have not gained any progress in trying to produce peace and improved lifestyle of the Iraqis. Has violence created more violence, suffering and deaths? The United States government is now asking for two hundred and fifty billion more dollars to try to end the Iraq war. Even people my age who read the newspaper of watch the news on television can see that violence doesn’t seem to work. Violence only creates more violence.

            We have tried for four years to help improve the problem in Iraq. It has only gotten worse. Maybe we should try to arrange a discussion about peace in our region. When one approach doesn’t work, it makes sense to try another. If we care about our fellow people, we should do everything we can to end future wars and suffering. We should declare peace, not war, and try to persuade countries that violence is not the answer to and conflict or war.

            Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and other peace activists all believed that kindness, peace, and compassion were better than violence to relieve the world's problems. Jesus taught the golden rule: "Love thy neighbor as thyself." All religions teach the same principal. If all religions practice the saying, "Thou shall not murder or kill," why do so many people try to kill each other? The laws of religions are very helpful in our world, but the people who practice the religions are usually never perfect. People prevent people from reaching the goals they believe in when they use violence. In conclusion, we should follow the laws we learn from our religions, and use compassion, to solve our problems. The world would be a better place if we practice the things we preach.





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