“How can we obey the law against war?” That was the essay question posed by the West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition, and with an answer focused on ending peoples’ and nations’ sense of entitlement, Wheaton-Warrenville South junior Isobel Michaud beat out over 120 other entrants to win first place and a $1,000 prize, the Suburban Life reports.
“We all have wants, but getting everything you want is as disillusioned as a world without strife,” the paper quoted Michaud writing. “We must shed the idea of our wants coming before the basic needs of other nations.”
According to the paper, the contest was inspired by the contrast between the Kellogg-Briand Pact—signed after World War I, and intended to make war illegal—and the current state of the world, where war remains distressingly common.
“I have a lot of different ideas, and I really thought it would be a cool opportunity to be heard,” Michaud added to the paper “At 16, you have a lot of opinions, and your parents will sort of listen to you, but you don’t have many opportunities to really voice your opinions and have people really consider them.”
“She says ‘aren’t we putting our wants in front of other people’s needs?’” one Peace Coalition member, Frank Goetz, told the paper. “If people just seriously considered that question, I think maybe we’d start reorienting some of the priorities in our country.”