So, hearing about the Faith in World essay competition really picqued my interest, and really made me wish I was back in high school so I could join in (though what I would have written then would probably make me cringe now). Run by the Archbishop of Canterbury, I wrongly thought he would only extol essays that lauded over faith and belief in God. Indeed, the essays that have won or received honourable commendations have ranged greatly in their handling of faith. And as said by the Archbishop, it's encouraging to see the level of thinking teenagers nowadays extending to something greater than who the next X-Factor winner should be.
It would be interesting to read the full essays of the winners and commended writers, but for now, I will put down my favourite quote from one of the commended writers, by Richard Picardo, aged 15.
“We, as an intelligent race, are born with the innate ability to empathise with others, and with a strong desire to help people, even if our efforts go unrecognised or unrewarded. Indeed, many values which are fundamental principles of our modern society were not acquired because of religion, but rather due to visionaries who had the courage to fight organised religion and the state for what they believed in. Do we need to be religious to be good? Absolutely not.”