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Congratulations to the Winner of the 2020 Essay Scholarship Contest!

Direct Textbook is proud to announce the winner of the 2020 Scholarship Essay Contest. At Direct Textbook, we’re excited to support students seeking aid for their education.

Here is the 1st place essay from Alex C. addressing the essay prompt: “What is justice”

“When I was a young child, I used to view justice as if I were a superhero, trying to avenge wrongs against me or society as a whole. But as I matured and gained more knowledge about the world, I realized that justice is not revenge. Oftentimes, the two get intertwined and are mistaken for one another. This is due to the portrayal of superheroes, with their vindictive and vengeful spirit. This mere desire for retaliation causes justice to become revenge. Justice is more than righting a wrong or expiating oneself of a sin- it is the implementation of change and equality. Without setting a precedent, justice has not truly been served. It is when a wrongdoing has been corrected through just and impartial means while setting an example for future generations that justice is accomplished.

Justice is about taking the higher ground, morally speaking. By becoming vengeful, people stoop to the same level as their adversary and are no better than they are. I learned this the hard way in one of the many altercations I have had with my younger brother. One night in my grandparents? house, my brother and I were arguing over who could watch TV, not realizing how trivial a disagreement it was. After some name-calling, the argument escalated and became physical, with my brother pushing me to the ground. Instinctively, and out of vexation, I retaliated and pushed him even harder into the wall, immediately causing him to cry. In the moment, I thought that pushing him back was justified. However, my grandpa found both of us to be guilty despite the fact that my brother initiated the conflict. As a result, we were both grounded, a situation in which my grandpa implemented justice. Because I pushed my brother back, I was no different than he was. It was then and there that I realized
justice is not revenge and the only way to achieve it was through moral implications that teach a lesson.

The aforementioned anecdote of my experience with justice not only made me realize that justice takes an impartial perspective of fairness but also that it sets a precedent for future situations. Every time I get into a conflict with others, I always remember that night in my grandparents? house. This personal experience has set a precedent for me as it reminds me of the true meaning of justice and how retaliation is never the answer. It has set an example for me to follow and has ultimately changed me for the better. I am now able to see how justice promotes lawfulness and objectivity.

While cartoons often portray superheroes as being just in their actions, hence the group The Justice League, it is important to recognize that that is not a reality. Rather than becoming a violent vigilante to serve justice, we need to realize that no one is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes. With that in mind, justice is mercy. Justice is grace. Justice is change.”

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