2013 – 8th Grade National 2nd Place Winner

Sarah Ferrier, Minnesota.

Which is more powerful, love or hate?

Living in the world we do today, I must admit that at first I thought the answer to the question was obvious. How could we ever think love is more powerful than hate when hate is what our world runs on? It is the power source that everyone is constantly restocking on, and the emotion that we overuse far too much. However, there is that pesky little thing that always ends up getting in the way of it all: love.

Hate is the leaf on the tree of love. So whenever hate may feel deep rooted, remember that it is just a small leaf, holding on to the branch by a tiny stem. It is similar how we use the phrase "the srnaller person" to describe someone being a big bully. Though you may feel strong and powerful with all the hate inside you, you are just a scared, hurting little person. The tree of love, however, stands tall because of its strong foundation, its deep roots. And that is why hate has no power, because it has no foundation. Whoever heard of a foundation built on hate? Love, on the other hand, has so much power. Its many branches stretch across the world, carrying things like happiness, laughter and hope. In my life, there have been many obstacles that I've had to dodge. And sometimes all I need is that one drop of hope to keep me going. Dark things like death, illness, bullying, and revenge are just tiny bumps in the road when hope is right there with its little voice inside you telling you that everything will be fine, and that you are strong.

A tree without leaves is never as beautiful, and the same goes for love and hate. If there was no hate, then how could anyone know the beauty of love? The amazing light that comes from hope, happiness, and love is only enhanced with the amount of hate in this world. I have noticed through history and my personal experiences that we come together the most beautifully in the worst of times. The terrorist attacks in 2001 and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s proves that when the going gets tough, the light shines brighter through the darkness. I feel as if it is hate challenging love, and then love taking up that challenge. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Hate can turn strangers into enemies, but love can turn strangers into friends. Just imagine how much more power a world full of friendship, unity and trust would have compared to that of nothing but separation, anger, and fear. Love, I have finally found, is the real power source that mankind runs on, and we just can't seem to get enough.


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