2010 – 6th Grade 3rd Place Winner

Henry Shapard, Ohio.

Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword?

The pen is mightier and more powerful than the sword for several reasons. Written words and ideas travel much more quickly, inexpensively, and widely than violence does; words last forever; and in the situation of an agreement, the pen can benefit both people agreeing. If you want power, respect, or simple peace of mind, use the pen, for people will like you, remember you, and respect you more than if you use the sword.

It is impressive how easily words affect people. With many people in attendance, speeches can affect scores of people. For example, Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent “I Have a Dream” speech inspired thousands of African-Americans to stand up against racial prejudice. With the internet and the press, powerful words can be everywhere in the world within seconds, yet moving violence takes time and money. Words can also travel easily because of how inexpensive it is to move them. Words are incredibly powerful because they can inspire people very well.

Words are powerful forever, yet a sword is only powerful when someone is holding it. For example, when dictators loser their military, their influence on the public is gone. Words last for thousands of years; we are still inspired and influenced by the ancient Greek and Roman thinkers who lived thousands of years ago. Also, think about how we still live by the written words of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Words live for years, yet swords live only during the time they are held in one’s hands.

With the pen, a person can agree without putting a gun to someone else’s head. Many times countries avoid bloody wars because their diplomats negotiate an agreement that is beneficial for everyone. In the family setting, parents speaking strong, governing words can help guide a misbehaving child down the right path, whereas if they had punished the child, he would only learn to resent the parents. Basic promises and agreement are an example of the might of the pen. Could you imagine what the world would be like if all trade today was made because one person pulled a gun on the other? The pen is mightier than the sword because through it many can benefit.

The world would be very different if the sword had more power than the pen. The world’s population would be fewer, because for the sword to reign, many would need to be killed. The written word would not have the effect it has today. Many would starve, as there would be no fair trading; over all, the world would be in chaos. The word is a better place when words reign.

The pen has many benefits, for with it comes democracy, communication, intelligence, and fair trade. I’m sure you’ll see the might of it.


Kids Philosophy Slam Home Page