What is True? Essay

By , West Chester, OH
“There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong… The problem is with man himself and man’s soul. We haven’t learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem.”- Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King

This man, who has forever shaped the world, says this with no malice but a hope for a better tomorrow. He wanted the world to realize that we are no longer good. We no longer live in harmony with the basic principles of brotherhood and fraternity. Although he has valid points in his words, I have to acknowledge that he was an African American man living in the time of the civil rights movement. He was tormented and eventually died for his beliefs. He experienced intolerance and hatred, for he was the person with the voice, and in my experience the person with the loudest voice receives the most praise, but also receives the most criticism. I have to wonder if the era he lived in was the sole reason he believed all of mankind was unjust and dishonest. For if his circumstances were different, and if he was a Caucasian man living in the 1990’s, would he view mankind and man’s soul differently?

While I’m fifteen, I have to be skeptical of what the world’s problem is, because even though I have not lived through segregation, I do believe that the world’s problem extends beyond the people that inhabit the earth. For I know many people who live their lives selflessly and many people whose souls are pure. People who have stayed strong through times of weakness, not for themselves but for the people who love them. I know people who live their lives unselfishly every day. I do not deny that some people are cruel, vicious, and are what makes the world a difficult place to live, for we fear for many things, but the people that live in a good, decent way, are the people who make the world great. Doctor King’s quote may have been exaggerated by the time period and his circumstances, but the world is a great place because of the people who are just, kind, true, and loving. Some of the world’s most influential people can narrow our problem down to one word. Human. Alexander Pope once said that “to err is human, and to forgive is divine.” The world’s issues are caused by the imperfections in the human race, but even the most imperfect person can have a just and loving soul.

When Doctor King said these words, he was only focusing on the people who separated him from the rest of the human race. I believe if he could see the world today, in 2011, he could marvel at the fact that so many people have fought for so many meaningful things, and he would narrow the world’s problem down to the fact that yes, there are people who are vengeful, but the people who have pure souls outnumber these people by millions. When he spoke these words to those many people who wanted segregation to end, he was embraced in certain position that would refute him to say anything else. He was a brave man with a brave soul, and he changed the world because he wasn’t the selfish, unjust person he was describing, but he was the exact opposite. What he should have gone on to say in that everlasting speech, is the way we rid the world of our most prominent imperfections is through the people like Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Through those people we can create a just and honest and kind and true and loving mankind for the rest of generations to embrace in.





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