2004 — 3rd Place — 7th Grade

Ann Mayhew, Minnesota

Is World Peace Possible, or does Human Nature Make War Inevitable?

I believe that world peace is never going to happen, that war will always be around as long as mankind is around. I hold this opinion because when we look in to the past, many times humans chose this violent solution to a conflict, instead of a more peaceful solution, and this reflects upon our human nature's tendency towards was and other violence. Look through any newspaper today and it will become obvious that humans are not, overall, a peaceful race. The number of articles about and references to acts of violence will outnumber those of love and compassion in almost any newspaper, or nay other news source. One may argue that this is because violence is the only stuff worth reporting, the only important events. I answer this with a question: And why is that? We find acts of violence entertaining, interesting. Acts of charity and mercy can be just as life changing, why do we choose to report and read only the violent? Perhaps it's in our nature.

Everyone will agree with me when I say that humans are the highest reigning creatures on this planet. We are intelligent, complex creatures; we analyze ideas and suggestions, promote our own. We think, hold opinions. The reason we have these differing opinions and suggestions and theories is because we are so complex and because we think, and when our opinions are challenged, we can't help but defend them, and argue. I'm sure everyone can think of a time when they just felt the rising wave of uncontrollable anger, and the words, as hurtful as they may sound to one's ears later, bubbled to your lips and poured out.

Humans even promote arguments, the basis of wars, in a sense. Debates? Courts? They're nothing more than a formal argument. As humans we enjoy arguing, fighting. It appears everywhere. Our movies, Saturday morning cartoons, our books, art and music, school even. It tempts us and torments our minds even when we think it can't.

War and fighting isn't just a part of human nature, it's a part of nature all together. Almost all creatures fight and kill, whether for food or protecting a nest or what not. Killing is a part of all life, though I have to say wars among us humans are more extreme, for we are killing our own kind and can relate to what the other is thinking and doing and feeling, for we have the brain power to do that, while other creatures who kill their own kind cannot do that; it's just instinct.

Back to the original question: is world peace possible, or does human nature make war inevitable? I'm sure anyone reading this by now has figured out what side I'm on: world peace, whether just among nature or complete individual peace, is never going to happen, we humans prevent it by uncontrollable instincts. War will always be around as long as mankind is around, and the two will probably end at the same time.

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