2007 Seventh Grade Second Place

Sachin Modak, Illinois.

What does compassion mean to you?

"Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, then we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear." Jiddu Kristnamurti, a theosophist philosopher, said this. In other words, merely killing another is not the only form of violence. Violence is ubiquitous; it can be a gangster holding a knife up to a man's chin and asking for money, it could be a solder crying in pain on a battlefield as a bullet whips through his thigh and leaves a growing stain of blood, or it could be even a bully or predator teasing a kid in school because he is too nerdy or corpulent. Violence attracts much more attention than compassion, and although it may seem counterintuitive, certain forms of compassion may attract violence. Violence is everywhere. It can't be stopped. Violence has a greater impact on society because most people cannot go through one day without hearing, seeing, or experiencing a form of violence.

            First of all, violence attracts much more attention than compassion. For example, imagine you are on a school playground. You see a boy push another boy and they start a small feud. Many people will probably form a circle around them and encourage this kind of behavior. Also, many people enjoy watching action/violent movies more than sad/compassionate ones. Why do we enjoy watching violence? Humans are violent. The Darwinian Theory is prevalent here. Young primates are known across species to attack older males in packs. They use violence to obtain territory, overtake the opposite gender, or just fight for the fun of it. So basically aggression is in our blood. A priori, you can tell that violence will entice some kind of attention, be it crowds, media, or more violence. And if someone tried to stop this violence he/she will probably get beat up by the fighters or will be looked upon scornfully.

In fact, many peace movements are replied with violence. One example is of Martin Luther King Jr. He tried to change the way the people of different skins treated each other. He wanted peace between everyone if the United States. He was a great leader but he was a peaceful leader. The response to his message of compassion was violence. He was shot on April4, 1968. Another example, Mahatma Gandhi was a pacifist leader who wanted peace. The Muslims and Hindus were fighting so he split India into two parts, India and Pakistan. Then he was assassinated. After his death Pakistan and India started to fight violently and the carnage continues till this day. These examples demonstrate that a peaceful action often ends in violence. Compassion gives off a sweet smell, but that smell attracts the violence to attack it like a bee to a flower. But the opposite case rarely occurs; violence will not usually stir peace and compassion. In fact, it will cause more violence.

            Violence has a greater impact on society than compassion does. For one thing, it attracts more attention than compassion. Also, compassion will bring violence while violence does not bring compassion but rather lures more violence. Violence does have a greater impact but that can be changed. Remember what Muhammad Ali said, "There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people."



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