2004 — 2nd Place — 8th Grade

Andrew Stein, Michigan

Is Global Peace Possible?

The only way to achieve global peace is to deny the nature that makes us human. There are countless facets of human nature that make war inevitable. There are also many aspects that encourage peace; however, one does not exist without the other. Sadly, war is often the victor of the two. For example, what makes American great is that everyone is so different, but it is these differences that also drive us apart from one another. One way global peace can be achieved is if we also achieve global uniformity, which is the last thing anybody wants. There will always be someone, or some group that somebody hates, and there fore war is a statistical eventuality.

It is possible to think of life as a mountain, with peace as an uphill road filled with many obstacles to overcome, and war as a downhill run, free of obstacles and much faster. So if everyone in the world is working towards peace, and one person decides to take the easy path to war, it can destroy everything everyone else has worked to achieve. Hate often spreads like a plague and infects everyone.

War is not just a physical act, such as one country against another; it is also a mental act. Just because someone does not try to harm another, does not mean he or she is not at war with them. For example, if there is a person with whom you disagree, it doesn't mean you want him harmed, but it can still mean you are at war with him mentally and these feelings easily escalate.
History is filled with one's transgressions against another and these are not often forgotten, making lasting peace a difficult goal. Peace cannot be accomplished unwillingly, or it is just an act of cease-fire. A forced peace is but a temporary solution to a problem whose real solution was never even approached.

Most countries are simultaneously trying to prevent, while also preparing for, war with each other. This is no way to bring about global peace. If you do not trust someone else, how can you expect them to trust you? This distrust sows more distrust, which eventually leads to war.

Though I do not believe global peace is possible, that in no way means that I do not think it is important to work towards it. There is no great goal than peace, and perhaps someday, global peace will be within our grasp. Hope springs eternal.

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