Essay Contest: Making Moral Choices

There’s an essay contest taking place over the next two weeks, and we think the writing prompt is worth a look. It’s about the role of personal, moral choices in circumstances that are beyond any individual’s control–and about who or what influences us to make such difficult choices.

From the folks at Facing History and Ourselves, here’s the prompt:

Facing History and Ourselves works to create a society of thoughtful citizens who think deeply about the way they live as they make choices in their local communities and confront issues of global concern. We hope that students will believe that their choices do matter and will feel compelled to think carefully about the decisions they make, realizing that their choices will ultimately shape the world.

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), the Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, once spoke of the importance of learning about people who were rescuers during the Holocaust. He said, “Let us not forget, after all, that there is always a moment when the moral choice is made. Often because of one story or one book or one person, we are able to make a different choice, a choice for humanity, for life.”

Please write an essay responding to Wiesel’s quote in 500 words or less. What story, book, or person has influenced your thinking about ethical decision making? What has it taught you about how you can participate as a caring, thoughtful citizen in the world around you?

If your students choose to enter, there’s some prize money at stake! Contest details are here.

(Image: Vintage illustration of a man writing with a feather pen. From Bennett, John. (1922). Master Skylark, The Century Co. Original here.)

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