2015 – 8th Grade National 2nd Place Winner

Kaitlyn Yi, Illinois.


Throughout my adolescent years, I came to the vexing realization that my society was a violence fueled machine. On the news, paramedics rushed to motionless victims after a massive shooting. Dishearted, the meager hope I had for a better society vanished as the scene developed. The vehemence was overwhelming. At that moment, the story was replaces with a dog saved from abuse. Clips of the now nourished pet with a loving household warmed my heart. If compassion has the strength to illuminate darkness, while violence has the power to drown light, which is stronger?

Violence and compassion combine as one to keep society in equilibrium. Always countering each other, the two elements are the blue and red Taeguk on the South Korean flag. The blue half, representing violence, is the negative cosmic force, while the red, representing compassion, is the positive cosmic force. Without either, humanity would be unbalanced, hence the flag’s white background, symbolizing peace. Violence or Compassion: Which has a greater impact on society? Violence teaches us lessons from mistakes, while compassion illustrates altruism. Blue and red combine as a continuous cycle to balance society. However, only one seems to impact society more, and that is violence.

Violence is like a savage wildfire, destroying anything in its path. Throughout history, violence had taken on multiple appearances and is all around the world. Mother Nature’s violence ranges from tsunamis to earthquakes. Wars and assaults are all disagreements and clashing opinions amongst individuals. Violence creates riots, transforming society into a dysphonic community, Humanity only uses violence to solve violence, dragging society down and endless, iniquitous void.

But, with this steady fall of society comes compassion. The fact that violence is the foundation to compassion is inevitable. For example, if a suffering country needed assistance, organizations would provide donations to aid them. This shows that with violence, compassion comes in. Born to assuage violence, we realize that compassion is the better element. Evil has already taken numerous lives, devastating many. Compassion prevents future wounds to society.

Although it seems that violence only leads to devastation, it is surprisingly benefitial because our vehemence teaches us compassion. From this, humanity finds the value of peace. With the discovery, we realize that violence is the root to positivity. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” Violence, although wicked, is what affects society most. Not only does it impact the world population, but violence remarkably brings the compassion needed during grim times.



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