2004 — International Winner:

Emily Watkins, Poland

War or Peace? Is world peace possible, or does human nature make war inevitable?

            Men have tried many times to maintain world peace; every time they have failed. You would think that peace would not be so difficult to achieve. For if we can fly in space and erect skyscrapers then surely we can bring about world peace. We have airplanes, automobiles and big supermarkets where we can purchase everything. Our new inventions and technologies satisfy all the material needs we could ever dream of. Yet we lack one of the most important things - peace. Is there too much hate and violence in this world for peace? Is war inevitable?

            Not long ago, in a car wash near my school, a bomb was planted. This explosive device endangered the lives of thousands of children. This violent action made me realize that people have become merciless; that they no longer aspire to keep peace. I saw that humans do not care for the lives and security of others. They seek only to demonstrate their power and terrorize mankind.

            Human nature's severity and influence is also made evident to me when I hear about high school shootings. These acts of violence are not found only on American soil, but are now occurring in other nations as well. We are raising a generation of children who do not value human life. Children are being raised by the computer, the internet and by the television, instead of by their parents. Many of my classmates go home to an empty house. Their value systems are not being shaped as they should. They aim to emulate pop stars and actresses. If their idol performs a crime, then they dream of doing the same thing. One of my classmate's idols committed suicide and now she also wants to carry out this violent act. It is imprudent to think that we can maintain peace if we can not even control and discipline our children. I agree with what Benjamin Franklin so eloquently said, "Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society." Instead we provide aggressive television shows, videos and computer games. In so doing we create an atmosphere for violence and for war.

            For these reasons, more than ever, war has become inevitable. Children are the future leaders of society. They are the future decision-makers. And as they take their positions of authority, not considering what is just and following their own evil ways, then war is to be expected.

Kids Philosophy Slam Home Page