2006 — 8th Grade 4th Place
Erik Johnson, Minnesota
Fear or hope, which is the more powerful emotion? The first answer
that I came up with is fear because it can paralyze you and leave
you helpless. Upon further thinking, however, I would say hope
is the more powerful emotion, because hope can move you past that
fear and keep your life moving forward.
Fear is almost everywhere. When you look at a newspaper, watch
a television or even listen to a radio you learn of death, explosions,
terrorists, and racial tension. But even with all of this fear
in our world, people still have hope for a better future. Take
Martin Luther King Jr. for example. He had hope that "children
will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by
the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
If he had succumbed to fear and stayed silent, this country would
be very different than it is today.
The definition of "hope" in the dictionary is "to
look forward with desire and usually with a measure of confidence
in the likelihood of gaining what is desired." I believe
that this is only one aspect of HOPE. To me, hope is more of a
feeling, a metaphorical lifesaver that stops you from drowning
Life is like a river; it begins somewhere and eventually runs
down to the ocean. In this metaphorical river, fear is like the
rapids: short, high-energy periods of stress. Hope, however, is
like the steady current, the thing that keeps your life moving.
"Rapids" shake things up a bit, but if there is a "current",
the river will just move past them. Without a current, you wouldn't
even have a river.
I won't say that fear isn't strong, but I think hope is definitely
the stronger emotion because it allows you to go past the rapids
of fear and progress steadily down the river of life.
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