2007 Eighth Grade Third Place

Meredith Lenz, Ohio.

Compassion or Violence:

Which has a greater impact on society?

As you look out your window of your downtown apartment, all you see are police sirens and caution tape. As you hurry to turn on the news, all you hear about are the very shootings that occurred on the same streets you see. Then the thought comes into your mind and sticks- you and your society have fallen. Forever now people will live their lives in fear afraid to go out to the real but scary world. However there is hope, for in the wise words of Confucius, "our greatest glory is not in ever falling, but rising every time we fall." Violence is around the world everywhere we go, and it does greatly impact our society. Without compassion, however, we would never have the strength to rise up after we fell, and that is truly impacting. What would any of us do if that instead of rising up from the ashes, we decided to stay there?

            What is compassion? In the dictionary, it says the sympathetic consciousness of others feelings; compassion is the honest the care of others. Compassion in real life can be as simple as lending a shoulder for someone to cry on or giving your time on Thanksgiving to pass out meals to those less fortunate. But true compassion, meaning having your heart and soul for others to use and to help them, it truly life-changing. Where would New Orleans be without the thousands of Americans giving their time and prayers to help get the town living again? The news headlines are not about the number of people homeless, but how about businesses are opening back up and the football ream is back home playing. These are the moments that will stick with us forever reminding each and every one of us that we can achieve anything.

            Personally, the importance of impacting society is not about making people afraid to continue with their lives in fear, but in restoring hope to everyone's lives and giving them the hope to live for the future. If we didn't care about the future, we would be throwing away the 2007 years of making lives better through works such as a simple light bulb to the millions of organizations world-wide helping anywhere they can. Confucius once said "the more man meditates upon good thoughts; the better will be his world at large." Just the desire for the better of the world is impossible without compassion. Without compassion, our world would be pointless. We would have billions of people living for themselves with not a care in the world for others. There would be no unity amongst us in rebuilding homes or cities up from the rubble.

            The next morning in the paper, you read about the eight now dead from the shootings you saw last night. You get together with your friends and start to raise money to go to funeral fees for each family. Already you start to feel your heart lighten. You are sure that this is the feeling of your heart being passed on to another's to comfort them. Already you understand how powerful compassion is, and already you understand you are starting to impact society by comforting others around you. Millions of people around the world are feeling the same feeling you are, connecting the world by one unified heart beat. Without compassion, we would forever be the billions of hearts in each body, without ever uniting. The unification gives us the hope of tomorrow, and many more to follow.


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