This I Believe

Vicky - Charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on September 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism, peace

When I was a young child, my mother taught me that a docile spirit was the best gem of any treasure chest. Thus I would go to school quiet and obedient. Peaceful. There, I would watch as the other kids misbehaved and fought like starved dogs over a scrap of meat. Tempers flared and simmered, seething glares were exchanged all to the teacher’s mantra of “There will be no fighting in this room whatsoever!!” Well, even this meek little child could witness the Alpha Dog struggling to the top of the pack, and even this respectful little girl laughed at the absurdity of her teacher’s demand.

I’m not a belligerent person by nature, nor do I condone senseless fighting-but I honestly believe that the Utopia of peace, this mythical somewhere over the rainbow does not exist. I too like so many others in the world find myself pondering the same questions. Those questions with which trying to produce an uncontroversial answer to would be the same as attempting to wrap my mind around infinity or nothingness. What is the meaning of life? Is there a God? Why is there no peace?

Now I could stand on a pedestal with a bouquet of flowers all I want, crowing out the injustices of war all the while dreaming of closing my fingers around the Holy Grail of the end of suffering. I could- and in doing so, would achieve nothing. Holding the belief that peace is nonexistent paves the road of my life with values like perseverance, pride, ambition, and compassion.

It was then that I leaned that it was human nature to fight, to compete, to be the best of the best. That same primal instinct to fight that my ancestors felt has embedded and etched itself onto the strands of my DNA. With this innate drive within my very being, I learned perseverance and ambition. In proving myself and making the most out of everything I had been gifted with, I was prepared to kick, claw, and force my way out of the crowd. Others gift wrap this process with sweet words such as doing your best- but I knew the rules of the game. If I played peacefully, the only place I would end up was dead last. I hold my head up with pride at my achievements.

Yet along with this pride, I learned compassion. Due to the realization of the nonexistence of peace, I glimpsed for the first time the Great Rift Valley that separated me from the world’s depravity. Upon seeing those who were too weak to fight, I found the pity and desire for good that tempered my ambition; the strength and raw passion I unearthed only served to augment what makes me human.

When gazing upon the inevitable battles of this world, I stand as a modern day Athena, waging war upon all the bright frozen smiles and shining tiaras of the world because this I believe: There is no such thing as peace.