2015 – Most Philosophical 5th Grader in America
Cameron Phillips, Ohio.
Researchers at the University of Valencia, Spain have found that the brain circuits responsible for compassion are the same as those responsible for violence. The researchers said that “educating people to be more compassionate could be an education for peace, bringing about a reduction in conflict and belligerent acts”. This would mean that if people were educated towards compassion, we would have a society that is less violent and compassion would have a stronger impact on society than violence. Unfortunately, for a child like me, the world that I am growing up in feels more like people are being educated towards violence which then makes me feel that violence has more of an impact on society.
For a child like me, it’s hard not to see violence as being more impactful when kids are being bullied everyday across the country because somebody thinks they are “different”. Things can get worse if they stand up for themselves or even if they tell someone in authority because bullies will then find different ways to hurt them. Unless someone will stand up for them (show compassion), they may get the feeling that bullying (violence) is more powerful.
For a child like me, it’s hard not to see violence as being more impactful because when you turn on the television news or read the newspaper, the stories that are front and center are the sad and violent stories. Granted, sometimes there are stories of compassion but, it feels like the violent stories outweigh these kinds of stories.
For a child like me, it’s hard not to see violence as being more impactful when people are being killed over an argument at a traffic stop, for the colors they wear or for just wanting an education.
For a child like me, it’s hard not to see violence as being more impactful when the people who run our government tear each other apart instead of working together to help the country.
For a child like me, it’s hard not to see violence as being more impactful when some of the television shows for kids feature kids my age who are rude, sometimes violent and not very compassionate.
For a child like me, it’s hard not to see violence as being more impactful when all I have known are the wars. Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Africa and Israel. It seems the only solution for peace is having the most nuclear weapons. Or, the way we show compassion to other countries that may be at war is by sometimes arming their rebels.
In conclusion, because of our world a child like me is growing up in, I can only conclude that violence has more of an impact on society than compassion.
Moya-Albiol, L., Herrero, N. y Bernal, M.C Bases neuronales de la empatia. Revista de Neurologia, 2010; 50 (2): 89-100. Science Daily, www.sciencedaily.com, February 20, 2015.
Philosophy Slam Home Page