2017 – 8th Grade National 2nd Place Winner

Angelique Larsen, Colorado.


Pen or Sword: Which is Mightier?

“Who made up all the rules? We follow them like fools.” - ‘They’ by Jem
You drop your pen amidst daydreaming. While you fumble to pick it up, a dragon appears, snarling and drooling while breathing heavily down your miniscule body. You grow terrified, letting out an earsplitting shriek. You wake up, heart racing as you gaze at the book on your lap.

Did your imagination conjure up this hulking dragon?
How could this imagination be created? By reading? By writing? By listening?
But don’t actions speak louder than words? Walk the walk instead of talk the talk?
Those are the rules, right?

Rules are written, so therefore we’re blessed for obeying them. If not abided, we are damned by others. The words, they embed themselves into our brains infuse with our thoughts. They tell us how to act, how to imagine, how to understand. We can’t possibly begin to grasp how the world, and its inhabitants work without being told what others have learned, the basics. Words compel us, move us, Words show who we are, how we feel, how we communicate. Words convey ideas everywhere.

So, I dare you to tell me that actions speak louder than words, that the sword is mightier than the pen. I dare you. I dare you to tell me that words don’t dictate how one feels. To tell me that books can’t entice the strongest emotions. That songs don’t coax out memories. That poems can’t make one ponder their existence in the universe. Tell me quotes can’t relate more than a human. Tell me conversing with someone can’t make one experience emotions which can’t be named. Tell me that writing doesn’t coax out the thoughts and words nobody hears. Tell me that commercials don’t influence how much one yearns for an item. Tell me that the composer who writes one’s favorite music didn’t get inspired by another piece, another composer. Tell me inventors didn’t use the pen more than one can imagine. Tell me the pen doesn’t leave its mark. Do it. Tell me those things.

Words. The different ways you compose them can hurt a person deeper than any wound or leave them confused, dwelling on past thoughts and actions…occurrences in their lives. Words can make a person happier than they ever could’ve possibly imagined. Words are how we even know what to call an emotion.

You may not like writing, but I guarantee you that SOMETHING you have read, has coaxed something out of you. You may not like reading, but music, poems, even stories can make you feel so deeply you’ll never be the same.

However, the pen isn’t just words. The pen is the creativity, the thoughts that run through our veins. The pictures we conjure. The melodies we audiate. Our dreams and fantasies. The pen inspires those entities that fill our brain up with joy and peace, or sorrow and melancholy. So I dare you to tell me one more time that the sword is mightier.



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