2019 – Most Philosophical 7th Grader in America:
Hera Pokharel, Colorado.
Love or Hate: Which has a Bigger Impact on Society?
Love. The word fumbles and feathers in the depths of ourselves. We fish it from the pit of our bellies and yank it from the resentment and timid jitters of murky uncertainty. On gloomy days of nothing but pain I stuttered the word to my mother. On days of adversity and agony you heard it from a friend. It might have been faint and inaudible but the silence spoke LOUD. Throughout history we can spectate figures who had the courage to love in spite of hate. Their actions voiced into society the word of courage and compassion and it echoes through us all. We raise our voices and bring forth the parts of us that have the courage to love unconditionally.
The night of October 6, 1998 was one that cost Matthew Shepard, a young man to lose his life to inhumane cruelty and brutality. The men who took his life saw nothing but his sexual orientation nothing of the man underneath, their actions were fueled by nothing but hate. They took away his humanity, his freedom, and his life. Power was held in their hate. Their actions breathed a certain sense of hopelessness into the air of Wyoming as Matthew’s final breath left him. This incident made clear and remarked a prominent issue among and towards members of the LGBT community. The response was love. The response was raising and cultivating a legacy, a legacy that would raise the voices of survivors, supporters, and strength. Hate transposed and distorted by the souls who dared to love, courageous people changing the caves of darkness into compassion. Matthew Shepard's life was silenced by hate but his legacy continued to sing symphonies and ballads by the individuals and collective society, of love.
“In Afghanistan, you don’t understand yourself solely as an individual. You understand yourself as a son, a brother, a cousin to somebody, an uncle to somebody. You are apart of something bigger than yourself.”-Khaled Hosseini. In society many of us forget to wipe away the pain on our spectacles. We weave our wounds to spit venom. We constrict the bitterness in our blood, letting it fester into bold words that hold power, the power to hate. Khaled Hosseini grew up in Kabul, his home where his heart laid. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 took Khaled away from his home. He saw the blood, the sweat, and the suffering of his people. Burning cities illuminated by hate. But he doesn’t describe the land he loved as a place ruined by hate. The Kite Runner took us al to Afghanistan the land of culture and heritage. Khaled Hosseini was an individual who saw individuals as more than themselves amongst hate that burned through the homes of his people. Benevolence in the face of hatred and hostility shows humanity and being human despite the dehumanization in society, shows power.
Martin Luther King Jr was a man who helped piece in his heart and power in his voice, he once stated, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. His voice was stronger than the vicious hate catapulted by racism. His words painted illustrations of America and its superficial abhorrence to the color of his skin. His speech is held salient potential. The potential to change his country and in his hand he held the pen. He did not find any justification in spitting the addictive venom, instead he used the word of Mahatma Gandhi a man who preached love and peace. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 changed the face of our young nation. The law outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Civil rights activists won with the power of their hearts.
What would we as a society like to be remembered by? When I was young I wanted to be remembered as a humanitarian, the love I saw in the world I wanted to reflect. I wanted to voice my love for humanity through my actions. The word fumbled and feathered in murky uncertainty of my naive youth. I see the darkness of today, I see the pain of today, and I see the hate of today. But I also see the light of tomorrow, the potential that the power of love holds. As a society I would like to be remembered as the ones who choose to establish a world of empathy, choose to institute a foundation of freedom, and choose to carve paths of compassion for one another. History has shown us the power of the word and the actions that uplift it. So why not learn?
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