Essay Contest

Third Place


Will the World Ever Learn?


By: Ayanna Foster

Sophomore, Carolina International School


This world has had a past filled with many tragedies. There has been slavery, genocides, and many more misfortunes. In a way, some of us have learned from those tragedies, but sadly in other instances we have not. In order for this world to become a better place, we, as a society, need to come to our senses and realize that we need to prevent these tragedies from happening. It’s good to learn from past tragedies and upheavals, but it’s even better to not experience them in the first place.

If we look back in time, there have been many instances in which religious groups and racial groups have been hurt, in most cases by people who don’t like them for their skin color, background, or religion. Has the world learned that it needs to judge people according to the content of their character, rather than according to their skin color or religion, just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated in his great “I Have A Dream” speech? In a sense it has, but the real question here is, can the world do this? For example, during the time from the 1600s to the 1800s, African Americans were extremely hated by Europeans and Americans, but now in the present day, there is an African American president of the United States . Using that fact as a reference, some of the world has become more tolerant of race and diversity; so I believe that the world bears, and has shown, the capacity to learn from past tragedies; but it slightly lacks that capacity.

Most people have learned to become more tolerant, or accepting of diversity and race, but there are still some people in the world who have yet to try this. For example, there are still racist and extremist groups, as well as individuals, in the world who hate the fact that the world has become more accepting of race.

They like the fact that African American were enslaved and segregated because they had colored skin.

They like the fact that Jewish people were put into concentration camps and were killed consecutively during the Holocaust.

They like the fact that Native Americans were forced out of their homes and killed by selfish human beings.

They like the fact that other race or religious groups were and are still persecuted everyday because others do not like the beliefs or backgrounds of the particular race or religion.

They like the fact that they feel that they are superior to any other race or religion.

If we look at the situation going on in the Sudan , we are showing that some of us have clearly not learned from past world tragedies such as the Holocaust and African slavery. Innocent people are being kidnapped, raped, and killed every day because power hungry groups and individuals feel that this is what they need to do in order to be heard, accepted, and to get their point across. They fail to realize that they are smart and more capable than to stoop down to that level of ridiculousness. What a shame.

We can learn from a power hungry past that we do not need all of the power in the world to get what we want. Some of the world has found out that they do not need to persecute and kill to get their point across or to get what they want, and this is a result of learning from past tragedies of the world. As a reference, the situation that is going on in Haiti right now has brought us all, as a community, closer together. With people working together to rebuild that country and with people giving up their lives, including all that they have, just to help out for this good cause, it makes it almost impossible for people to become mad at each other. By learning from past tragedies and by working together as a team, we will become powerful and we will achieve a goal of world peace.