Every year I send out a notification about the Philosophy Slam for Kids. The rules are shared, the challenge is posted, interested students prepare their responses. Every year I gather all the student entries, write out an entry fee check, and drop an envelope chock full of children’s essays, drawings, poems and thoughts into the mail. Most years I hear nothing from the good folks at the Philosophy Slam. This year, though, something very different occurred. This year, one of TJ’s very own third graders was named the third Most Philosophical Third Grader in America.
Third grader Atticus Kim, pictured above, chose to answer the challenge question “Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword?” When I read his entry I knew it was pretty remarkable, for it was balanced, insightful, and thoughtfully presented. And apparently the judges from the Philosophy Slam agreed! I know that if you take the time to read Atticus’ winning response, you’ll agree, too. Below are Atticus’ insights:
The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword
Different points of view open new worlds, but violence only has one perspective and closes doors to new experiences.
Ideas can bring people together, but fighting rips people apart.
Writing can bring out the best emotions, but violence brings out the worst.
Sharing ideas leads to finding the truth, but violence leads to seeing who is more cruel.
Writing can bring out love and compassion, but violence brings hate and fear.
Reading and writing makes people use their brain, but violence stops people from thinking.
Sharing ideas and opinions is the beginning of a dialogue, but violence ends conversation.
When people stop thinking and talking there is darkness, until someone shares different ideas which opens new worlds, and brings people together, and brings out the best emotions, and leads to finding the truth, and brings out love and compassion, and makes people think, and begins a dialogue, and creates light.
The only way to get rid of darkness is light, and that is why the pen is mightier than the sword.