Sunday, January 18, 2009

BHP scholarship application essay

The sun hangs in space giving life to all that feel its warmth. It has done this for millions of years and will continue to do so after we are gone. Man is an insignificant spec of matter dependant on the sun's charity.

Man is weak compared to a tree. A giant redwood has roots that reach far into the soil and grip firmly to the earth as an anchor against the world. Man is exposed on the surface, with nothing to buffer him against  his mistakes. A tree has no consciousness. It is not aware of all that occurs around it. Storms rage, lightning flashes, but the tree just stands oblivious to it all. Man cannot stand unaware and unprotected in a storm. He must run for shelter and hide himself from the elements.

Man is a reed that is blown in the wind by everyday life.  But a reed is flexible. It bends, but it does not break. A reed uses the wind to scatter its seeds and multiply. Man also uses the things around him to improve his life. He uses the sun to grow food and to power the devices that are created by his mind. Man uses the tree to build shelter and escape the storm. He uses the tree for warmth against the cold. Man can take a tree, make paper from it, and create books that record his thoughts and pass on what he has learned to future generations.

Man's ability to think is what sets him apart from all other creatures found on our world. This separation gives humankind responsibility along with dignity. Man has the opportunity to observe his environment and reshape it to fit his needs or tastes. Furthermore, he is given the task of taking care of his world for those to follow him. No other creature is that far-sighted in its responsibilities. Animals are governed by instinct. Man can override instinct and analyze what he is about to do. He can decide if what he feels is right is, in fact, the proper reaction.

The power to think gives humans the ability to examine themselves. The mountain, in all of its splendor, cannot stop and ask, "What is my purpose?" or "Who created me?" These questions are uniquely human in origin. We are always striving to understand a little more of the puzzle in which we live. Education is the first step in understanding. But all of the education in the world cannot help the person who is not willing to question. If Christopher Columbus had not questioned the popular belief that the world was flat, much of what we know now could be different. The greatest challenge to man is to use what God has given us and squander nothing. Our dignity is also our responsibility. 


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