2019 – National High School 3rd Place

Kaya Ceyhan, Ohio.

Love and hate are two repeating cycles of human history. They are also the most crucial agencies that have a lasting impact in our daily lives and lives of others. It is easier to think that love and hate are equally impactful opposites and one would automatically bring the other one into play. Some of us may even think that hate shaped us more. They would say that human history follows the wars, the wars almost always start with a hateful few. Love had nothing to do with all the necessary inventions that wars brought and the peace that eventually ensues.

They would think that love is a passive feeling yet hate has no boundaries and it would force its way in. Despite the evidence that both could be learned, they tend to think that hate is learned but love is inherent. As Nietzsche said “We must learn to love, learn to be kind, and this from earliest youth; if education or chance give us no opportunity to practice these feelings, our soul becomes dry and unsuited even to understanding the tender inventions of loving people. Likewise, hatred must be learned and nurtured, if one wishes to become a proficient hater: otherwise the germ for that, too, will gradually wither”.

I do not find a greater force than love that impacts us. Love was what helped us rebuild after every war and tragedy. We did this because we loved our family and our community. Love taught us to pay forward and work for a better future. The labor and passion put into love were the forces that always moved humanity in a positive direction. To love a person, to love what you do, to love what surrounds you make us better. If there was no love there would be no need for a community, civil society and no scientific inquiry. When love is at work, it makes us “we” and brings out the best in each other. Love brings a self-knowledge that would not be achieved otherwise and the need to improve. Imagine a life without love, would there be music, poetry, any art form in it? Would there be a technical advancement? Would there be a thrill to seek enlightenment even if it is potentially dangerous? If we do not seek love, are we going to find ways to keep that danger at bay? Love is not only the passion to do all these but also the courage to overcome the challenges we face.
Machiavelli said “Men are driven by two principal impulses, either by love or by fear.” Hate is not even an opposite power to love; it is the feeling of fear that leads to hate. And fear is not to have the courage to love and pursue your dream. Fear leads to the indifference and when you start feeling locked up in your apathy or your emptiness, hate takes over. As Darya Alexandrovna, one of the characters in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina tells us, “Love those that hate you”. The haters need love the most as they need to have the courage to feel human again.



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