2015 Most Philosophical Student in America
Harshil Garg, New York.
Kindling contemplation, Isaac Asimov imparted enlightening wisdom with just a few potent words: “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” His resonating remark dismisses the capacity of brutal bloodshed to resolve differences competently. Although the disciples of violence rampage flagrantly, leaving scars and disfigurements on society, compassion definitely triumphs, always erasing and nullifying the damage.
Atrocious acts of violence have plagued society since human existence. The rise of Adolf Hitler serves as a relentless reminder to the seemingly insurmountable power that violence possesses. Transforming to authority, a cruel and heinous sovereignty. Rather, fear manifests itself as a foundation for violence. Although outwardly impenetrable, striking fearing the hearts of men is not infallible; eventual collapse to compassion is inevitable. Hitler’s abomination was primarily governed by fear which became unspeakable massacres. His memory shall forever conjure up unhealable scars of violence. But the violence he exhibited was a painful reminder, awakening and disillusioning those who disrespected its power. Nevertheless, the compassion that precipitated during this time of darkness was indomitable. From the ashes of violence, an understanding of each other emerged, and as a society, we stood, bolding facing the injustice and violence waged. Brimming with compassion, and with regret for the violence committed, we materialized love from violence by hiding targets from Nazis and providing food and water without expecting reward. In essence, savage murder illuminated a path for compassion, showing us that violence results from an absence of compassion. Violence is no impregnable force; it is cold. Compassion is the warmth which eternally multiplies.
If compassion evaporated from society completely, violence would ravage every corner of the world. The focus often shifts from compassionate acts to emphasis on violent ones; media coverage revolves primarily around bloodshed, treacherous wars, unstable revolutions, and politically suffering regimes. Compassion is rarely mentioned, in a society obsessed with violence. Perhaps, it seems contradictory that compassion should be more influential than violence, but it is obvious why. Is it not easier to commit violence than to sacrifice, assist, or empathize? The unattainable things are often worth defending, in this case it is on of principle. The sorrow of violence is temporary; the families directly injured by Hitler’s regime may forget eventually. However, people will never forget what happened, and will endorse compassion in order to prevent these outbreaks of atrocious violence. Violence catalyzes the realization of compassion. It shows us that although seldom apparent, violence simply accelerates the understanding of compassion. It creates an inextricably linked chain, but violence is never the answer. It is simply a transformable, less powerful lack of compassion.
Violence never serves as a model in society. No one aspires to emulate the principles of terrorist organizations or wage vain war. Rather, we attempt to follow nonviolence and compassion to reach our goals; most people do not resort to violence for the simple reason that it is nonsensical. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi both led revolutions, stirring extensive political and social movements, all while maintaining peace in the face of adversity. Even though violence may appear more powerful, and present a temporary solution, compassion will ultimately triumph. If a war is ended on hostile terms, even if a victor is crowned, underlying hatred will galvanize groups to continue fighting. But if compassion forms the basis, the peace will be long-lasting and prosperous.
Violence and compassion rest on a balance scale, perpetually weighing against each other. Even when violence ravages society, creating despair and contempt, the balance will always swing back. Through the burnt embers, compassion will arise again, stronger. But unlike violence, compassion will strike a chord with us, and its melodious, resounding sound, can never be unheard.
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