2007 - Most Philosophical 8th Grader in America:

Amy Singleton, Hawaii.

Do more people use violence or compassion? Compassion is easier to some and violence to others, but violence makes a greater impact on society than compassion. Violence has a greater impact on society because people notice, remember, and are affected by it more and many use it every day, even if it's just self-defense.

Violence has a greater impact on society than compassion because people remember it. People watch and are riveted by it. It gets noticed more and had more attention paid to it. If somebody dies in a neighborhood by murder, the people living there aren't going to just say oh well, as if they saw somebody give a hug to someone else. It affects them more and makes a bigger impact that lingers around for a long time. September 11th is a good example; even today people still talk about this incident. People remembered the event for a long time and will probably pass the story along to future generations.

Violence affects many more people than compassion does. It 'reaches' more people; for example a war, the Iraq war we are in right now. Many people die and their families and communities suffer from the loss. They can't just forget, the person that they loved is dead. This impact may not be pleasant, but it is greater than the impact compassion causes. For example, if someone had help with their homework is usually affects just that person, but not his or her whole family or community.

Self-defense is an understandable way to use violence. Malcolm X said, "It doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time, I am not against using violence in self defense. I don't call it violence when it's self defense, I call it intelligence." I agree with his opinion; defense is an intelligent way of using violence. Sometimes you can't just 'turn the other cheek'. Violence is defined as an unjust exercise of power and the physical force for the purpose of damage or abuse. If someone gets attacked the attacker is using a bad way of violence. Many people use violence and it may not be correct, but it still makes a greater impact on society than compassion.

Violence makes more of an impact on society than compassion because people notice, remember and are affected by it more. Also, many people use violence everyday even if it's just self-defense. We use violence to have peace. George Orwell said, "People sleep peacefully at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." The 'rough men' he refers to are soldiers who will protect you during a war, so you can 'sleep peacefully'. There are bad and understandable ways to use violence, but it will make an impact whichever way you or others around you choose to use it. Violence, rather than compassion, will always make a greater impact on society.

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