2013 – 5th Grade National 2nd Place Winner

Zachary Auster, Texas.

Which is more powerful, love or hate?

I believe that hate is the more powerful emotion. Even though love can perform amazing acts, like bringing people together, the power of hate can overrule these acts. Nuances of hate spread over everyone at some point in their lives, while love seems to be far more elusive. Hatred can simply be the driving force in a competition. Overtime, it can build up and decay your soul, wreaking havoc on your health and wellbeing. Love, on the other hand, is fragile, needs constant nurturing, and its delicate balance is easily shattered by betrayal, distrust, or tensions that build ultimately into hate.

I faced strong hatred when my mother suddenly walked out of my life. Luckily, my grandparents were legally able to become my parents. Although I was fortunate to have family like them to provide me with security and love, this was not enough to stop the hatred that both they and I harbored towards my mother for her actions. Ultimately, we decided to deal with these strong emotions by seeking the guidance of a family counselor, hoping to get relief from the pain of hatred. He shared these wise words: "You have to forgive her so that you can move forward, or it will only end up destroying you". Through the love and devotion of family, with patience, and passage of time, we managed to overcome the hatred together. That doesn't mean it has disappeared completely, since something as simple as playing a moving piece of music on my violin can suddenly stir the deep feelings of resentment and hate that I once felt.

I respect great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. who preached peace and told people not to hate. Their words alone were not enough to prevent hate from smothering our world. They tried to teach people that hate destroys and ruins moral goodness. Too few people warn us about the perils of hate. Every day in my world I see people who hate simply because someone is different than they are. We need more people to open their eyes to the evils of this powerful emotion in order to stop it from corrupting society.


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