2005 — Most Philosophical 8th Grader in America:

Courtney Loose, Tennessee

What is Most Important in Your Life, Truth or Beauty?

Truth or beauty? As you weigh the two concepts in your mind, which one tips the scale? Perhaps truth, which speaks of honesty and valor, tumbles about in your thoughts, or is it beauty that you turn to? By chance is it both that occupy your mind and disturb the faint stillness that you once imagined you had?

As you meander through time, attempting to brave a path through the emotional static of modern life, which concept appears more vital? A person may have beauty, but where does their character lie? One need not have beauty to be beautiful. The essence of their soul lies within.

Throughout the course of my own experiences, I have found that an individual who seeks truth amounts to more than someone who searches on a never-ending path for beauty and perfection. Even now in my youth, lies bombard me like a plague. They approach on every side. Confusion and doubt beleaguer my mind. Such a cerebral chalice, so delicate a reservoir of emotions, needs to be carefully guarded against the deceptions born of this world. The mind: so susceptible an entity, fashioned of a myriad of notions, prone to vulgar ideas accompanied by malevolence that harass it relentlessly. Without truth where are we left?

Beauty: that forever-changing depiction of one' exterior that can never be definite. Beauty is not something that defines your soul, but truth is its foundation. Relationships are built upon truth, and without it your edifice will collapse.

Beauty. Does this utterance bring a passion to your lips to be voiced? Beauty. Does this spark the will of men to fight for a just cause? Is not the aphorism "the truth will set you free?" Over time, beauty fades, but if given a chance, truth flourishes. Beauty cannot last, but truth will live on forever.

You say, "What is more important in your life?" and I will reply boldly, "It is truth, not beauty, that sails on the Sea of Discernment. What is beauty likened to so valiant a vessel?" For truth is beautiful and in this I will linger, savoring the beauty of what is inside." I have made my decision. What will yours be?

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