3rd Place - 6th Grade

Haley O'Brien, New York

The Roads of Choice

Zoom! Some drivers fly down the road without thinking, some contemplate a map, and yet others simply take the advice of others. I think war and peace will be decided at the intersection of choices, and people much choose the right road to decide our future.

The first road is that of war, fighting and despair. People choose this road for different reasons, whether it be love, pride, fighting and for what's right, or just a shear love of fightings, pain, agony, despair and quite often a love for power. Some of these aqre noble causes, but some are not, but it's not like people fight for no reason at allo, at least no in their minds. Many who travel this road are innocent, and some don't even know that they are gtraveling this dark and lonely lane into darkness. Some come to realize their wrong-doings and cut across to other paths. This is the path of war.

The next road is the one of peace, prosperity, and hope. This road is ridden over in small groups and it makes me rather uncomfortable to think of how seldom people travel this road. One can only travel this road if they have good communication skills and are willing to learn at all times and accept other beliefs, ideas, and races. This is a road of beauty, but its lovely vines are beginning to wilt in neglect. This road should be crowded with people who are smart and who have made the right choice, yet it remains barren. This is the road of peace.

Yet another route is the beaten path, or "the fast lane". Taking this road is the easy way out because if you take this road you make no decisions for yourself; you become part of the crowd, go with the flow, and have few personal opinions. People who travel this road often shun new ideas. This has brought death to many religious leaders and great philosophers. Those who walk along this road are often ignorant of the truth and are easily deceived. People traveling this road can end up worse off. This is the beaten path.
The last path is the one you make yourself, or the trail you blaze. People who make their own path seek to make a difference, for the better or worse. You could create a new weapon and change the world to make it a worse place, or you could cure cancer and make the world a better place. I seek to travel through the wilderness, making my own path and placing my mark upon this mighty world of ours. Some who make their own path are inventors, philosophers, scientists, artists, and people who simply like to think out of the box. This is the trail you blaze.

I think that it is necessary to have a balance of war and peace. If there was only peace, no one would know what war was and if someone evil entered our world they could conquer the planet with a butter knife. People would be ignorant of the truth, and not realize that something like war could exist anywhere. If there was no peace no one would have any hope because they have never had experienced peace before. I think that we must make the right choices, but war is still part of life, and no one can rewrite human nature.

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