2014 – 6th Grade National 2nd Place Winner

Cali Rivera, Minnesota.

Truth or Beauty, which has a greater impact on society?

Everything in the world starts with a truth, whether that truth is good or bad. From a scientific perspective, those truths are the only things that matter. In our society though, people consider much more than the facts that are given to them. People look for the beauty in truth. Truth is the spark that starts a movement, and often, beauty keeps it from burning out. Ask yourself, “Which is more important, the thing that starts something, or the thing that finishes it?” I believe that the answer is the cause of something, because without a beginning, there can never be an end.

All movements, wars, and revolutions start with truths. For example, take the African American civil rights movements. After slavery was abolished, African Americans still struggled for equality. They established a basic truth: in the Constitution it states that “all men are created equal.” If all men are created equal, people who discriminated against African Americans were ignoring their country’s constitution. These truths sparked the beginning of the entire movement. Though these truths started it, beauty is the thing that kept it going. There was beauty in Martin Luther King’s speeches, in the protestors’ silent refusal to give in, and in so much more. That beauty inspired people to keep going, but truth started it all. Truth is the cause of everything, good and bad.

Truth doesn’t need beauty to have impact. “Ugly” truths can trigger change all on their own. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis are a good example. When Americans heard the terrible truth about Hitler’s goal – to exterminate the Jews, they were driven to action. In the end, Hitler was defeated. None of that would have happened if we hadn’t learned the truth about Hitler’s goals. There was not even the smallest hint of beauty in it.

In our society, people have many different opinions and perspectives. Some people only see the truth, whereas others look for the beauty in it. For example, the truth is that global warming is causing glaciers to melt. Some people will learn that truth, and only see the facts about it. They will want to stop global warming because melting glaciers will cause major seaside cities to be flooded. Others will learn that truth, see the beauty of the glaciers, and be inspired to stop global warming. No matter which perspective you have, you are always inspired by truth. In this case, the truth that glaciers are melting will cause people to try and save them. Truths can be interpreted in many different ways, but they are still always the root cause of every change.

Truths have started all movements and changes in history, and they will continue to do so in the future. They spark the beginnings of revolutions and sometimes, they don’t even need the assistance of beauty to finish them. Though truth is stronger than beauty, as Grace Aquilar said, “Truth is the vital breath of Beauty; Beauty the outward form of truth.”



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