2017 Berkshire Eagle MLK Day Essay Contest winner
By Olivia CaraccioliPeople might say, "Why can't the world be perfect?" To be honest, the world we were given is perfect.
We were given everything we need to survive down to the basics: warmth, nourishment, clothes, even entertainment. But, humans are blinded by all the luxuries that we have today and petty differences that make us go to war and have violence. We have everything we would ever need on this big, bright, beautiful planet, we just have to use it.
As my fifth-grade teacher Ms. Wendy Binkowitz said: "Everything we have was made from Earth, so the Earth can cure anything." To start, there are three things that all of us can do to make the world a better place, where we all feel included. These three things include: help each other succeed, don't judge, and treat each other equally. There are many, many other things I can think of, but these three ideas get us started toward creating our perfect world. The first way is to help each other succeed. People, we all have the same goal — to earn a good income, keep a roof over our heads, have full stomachs every day, and have some fun occasionally. So, help each other get there. I was on a school field trip to the YMCA Camp, Frost Valley, and they had us do this exercise with each other where we got on this fairly low tight-wire and as we walked across our classmates surrounded us with their hands up ready to catch us if we fell. The moral to this is we all wanted to get across and we were all giddy to have a turn walking across the wire so we helped each other get there and succeed.
The next way is not to judge. Now, part of human nature is to judge. We judge books, movies, situations, EVERYTHING! Sadly, even people. I'm not saying never judge again because that would be unrealistic, no one can do that.
I'm saying part of the reason this world is very hurtful, and isolated, is because we judge constantly. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech, "I Have A Dream" spelled everything out that needs to happen to this world, because sadly his dream has not fully come true yet. People still need to look up and see behind the invisible vail that covers up the real world. That's another problem with this world — we can't see. Not that we literally can't see but, as Martin Luther King, Jr. observed in his speech: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.'" Sometimes the greatest things are standing right in front us, right under our noses but we can't see the beautiful things this world is capable of over all the hate. Circling back, we need to understand that to help each other succeed, we have to understand each other and not judge. The final, but certainly not last way, is to treat each other equally. Woman, man, girl, boy, LGBTQ, or whatever you identify as, black, white, tan, pale, or whatever color you say that your skin is, those are words that people use to describe what they think you are. Don't confuse those words with the traits that define you as a person.
People have made those words your traits and judge you by them, which honestly doesn't tell anything about you. Sure, you can make guesses. But you can never be even 99 percent sure that you guessed right until you meet the person and get to know them. Singer-songwriter Stefani Germanotta or as she's known as, "Lady GaGa," wrote a song "Born This Way," which summarizes that it doesn't matter what you look like, or where you came from it matters that you are you and "God makes no mistakes/I'm on the right track/Baby, I was born this way." Honestly, just because there are differences in our appearances and traits that does not mean we should be treated any differently than any other person. We all are made by a man and a woman, we're all ape descendants, we all have feelings, and most importantly woman, man, girl, boy, LGBTQ, or whatever you identify as, black, white, tan, pale, or whatever you say the color of your skin is, all of us are just as strong and worthy as each other. So, it doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, we should all be treated equally.
In conclusion, the three things we all can do to make the world a better place — where we all feel included — are: help each other succeed, don't judge, and treat each other equally. There are so many problems with our world. Sometimes, it feels like we will never have a perfect world or, for that matter, world peace. But, keep faith, keep doing good, because that's what this world needs. It needs ordinary, good people, who are never recognized, who just do good because it's in their hearts, it's the natural thing for them to do. Hopefully, someday the good will spread, and everyone will have the wonderful feeling of optimism and will be ready to use this big, bright, beautiful planet the way Martin Luther King Jr. did.
Olivia Caraccioli is a sixth-grader at The Computer School in Stockbridge. She is the winner of the 2017 Berkshire Eagle MLK Day Essay Contest.
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Enter the MLK Advancing The Dream Essay Writing Competition
You could win $500, $750 or $1,000!
The 2018 MLK Essay Contest is open to high school seniors attending Arlington schools or residing within the Arlington city limits. Scholarships to help defray the cost of college tuition and books will be awarded to the winning first, second and third place essay writers.First Place – $1,000 Scholarship
Second Place – $750 Scholarship
Third Place – $500 Scholarship
“Continuing The Dream: Moving Toward Unity, Justice and Peace”
How To Enter
SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS 5 PM FRIDAY, NOV. 17, 2017
Please mail all entries to:
Arlington MLK Committee
P.O. Box 1921
Arlington, TX 76004-1921
- Must be a High School Senior enrolled in an Arlington school or residing within the city limits of Arlington. This includes private and charter schools in Arlington.
- One essay per student. Essays must be original, typed, double-spaced, and must not exceed 1,500 words.
- Cover sheet must contain student’s name, school, home phone number, address and email address. None of this information should be included in the body of the essay.
- E-mail essay as a Microsoft Word document attachment to Cheryel.Carpenter@Arlingtontx.gov
- Essays will be judged on the basis of organization, content, voice, creativity, grammatical structure and overall conformity to the celebration theme.
Entries will be judged in December 2017. Winners will be formally recognized at the Arlington Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing the Dream Awards Banquet on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 and throughout
the four-day celebration weekend.