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Fitting the Mold?

April 28, 2007

Today I submitted my essay for the Holocaust Remembrance essay contest.  I’ve been working on and stressing over the essay for quite some time, so it’s a big relief to have it done.  (Now I just have the suspenseful wait until June 1 to see if anything will come of my efforts!)  I read one of the winning essays from last year and, although it was very well-written and moving, was struck by its political correctness.  The author basically states that to avoid future Holocausts we must “strive toward a world of acceptance and celebration of human diversity.”  I’m not against tolerance, acceptance, and diversity, and I also mentioned this in the essay I just submitted.  The winning essay I read immediately afterwards states, “It is an embarrassment to our evolution as a species that in 2006, we still witness hate in our world.”  The evolution of our species?  Diversity, acceptance, open minds and hearts?  All these things (excluding evolution) are good, but doesn’t it sound just slightly politically correct?  I realized after reading this essay that the judges of this contest probably don’t share my worldview, and this opened the temptation for me to mold my essay to fit what I think they would find more appealing — namely, “love, peace, and all that jazz.”

I rewrote the concluding paragraph to my essay three times.  The first time it mentioned tolerance and acceptance somewhat.  The second time it had a much stronger emphasis on the subject.  (Pretty much, I was caving into the temptation to be politically correct and write what the judges want to hear rather than what I really believe.)  The third rewrite came as a result of my dad’s insistence that I watch this video (or the trailer for it, actually).  I finally decided that it was more important to write about the impending threat of another Holocaust at the hands of radical Muslims than try to win the essay contest.  Am I hoping that I might still win a decent place in the contest?  Absolutely.  But I decided that it wasn’t worth it to sell my soul (my convictions and beliefs) for the sake of at most $10,000.  I’ll stand by what I think needs to be said rather than what I think the judges want to hear.  Perhaps my essay will be passed over as a result of this decision, but so help me God.  This may sound like nothing but indulgent self-promotion, but it took a hard struggle for me to decide to do what I believed was right over what I thought was an easier way.  I want to encourage you to do the same!

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One comment

  1. The making of a real journalist! If more in the media wrote like you have done here I believe that the U.S. would be in much better shape than it is today. I will pray that more will “do something” as you have done here. Congratulations! You know me



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