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"The Legacy of Tolerance" - Common App- How I faced discrimination and ignorance

turntablespp 6 / 41  
Oct 29, 2010   #1
Prompt: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you

The Legacy of Tolerance

It was quiet, empty, and lifeless. My mind was flooding with the irony of this place. This was a children's playground, not a war zone. In a place where joy should flourish, burning cigarette butts, thrown haphazardly on the ground, were the only things shining brightly. But as I walked through the silent park, I felt a shiver go down my spine when I realized how familiar this place looked.

I heard laughter and saw a little boy run inside the park, as if he brought back the happiness. I was walking slowly, and suddenly heard a loud shriek. Bewildered, I ran towards the noise, and saw a group of boys, swarming like bees, around the small boy. Much to my horror, they pushed him to the ground and I caught the word "terrorist" slipping from their mouths. The group fearful of what they had done picked up their bikes and biked away from their mistake. Except one of them wasn't that fast, his shocked face looked back down at the boy and I could tell he felt guilty for what he just did. As he was about to bike home with his group, he saw me from the other side of the park, and froze as if he were waiting for me to charge at him like an angry gorilla. But like a coward he sprinted on his bike out of the park, but I got to see him turn his head back as if he left something behind: his dignity. My heart felt lifeless as I watched the boy fall to the ground. As he lay on the cold, dark ground, I sprinted towards him as fast as I could. I grasped his small, cold hands and helped him up. Slowly, he opened his eyes and through the reflection of his hazel eyes I saw myself six years previously.

My memories fluttered in front of my eyes, as I went back to a day as cool and crisp as this one. My grandpa, "Dada" and I were the only ones in the park. I wanted to show him how I had mastered the monkey bars. Enthusiastically, I jumped onto the bars, but my focus was broken by a group of Caucasian teenagers, wearing khaki shorts and baggy t-shirts. I quickly returned my gaze to the next bar, trying to avoid their brooding eyes. I was almost to the last bar, and my arms were aching, but I didn't want to give up. I gave one of my arms a last thrust forward to catch the next bar, but before I could, I heard someone yell, "Get out of this country!" As I was turning to hear the source of the noise, I was distracted by a long and dirty glass bottle slowly coming towards my direction. I could see it high in the air, soaring toward me, and as it fell to the rubber ground, my eyes focused to the group of kids behind the bottle. I heard another noise, except this one was kind, my grandfather calling my name. I let go of the bar and anticipated my fall onto the cold, hard ground. Instead, I fell into the warm and comforting arms of my grandfather. As he called my name again, I slowly opened my eyes to the sight of my grandfather's own distressed, soft, blue eyes and the outline of his turban. He looked pale but unmoved. Hatred for those kids bubbled in my system. What did I do wrong that they wanted us to leave this country? The group of teens were nowhere to be seen, but their cruel hurt was left behind. I told my Dada how much I hated those boys. He wiped my tears of hate, and looked me in my eyes, and simply told me, "Your hate won't change anything; you must meet hate with love, and forget their cruel actions. Forgive those who cannot understand who you really are inside. Your tolerance is worth more than their intolerance."

As I looked into the tear-drenched eyes of this young boy, I saw myself. His beautiful eyes were drowning with the hatred of those boys. As I wiped the tears off his face, I saw how much I had changed. I had the courage and strength in me to fight a prevalent disease by a simple act of forgiveness. I was able to see the world just as my grandfather showed me. My words in unison with my grandfather's had the power to change the world; these words are now my legacy. As I brought his words to this child, I hoped that he would be able to continue the journey of these words to emphasize to the world that the only cure for ignorance is forgiveness.
silverdra 5 / 12  
Oct 29, 2010   #2
Very nicely written!
However, there some redundancy in this sentence, which I corrected:
" As he lay on the cold, dark ground, I sprinted as fast as I can towards him saw the boy lying on the cold, dark ground and sprinted as fast as I could towards him ."

Btw, can you look over my common app short answer? Thanks :)
OP turntablespp 6 / 41  
Oct 29, 2010   #3
Oh whoops that was a typo. Thank you for pointing it out!
em2always 15 / 79  
Oct 29, 2010   #4
I heard laughter and saw a little boy run inside the park, bringing happiness to the silent park.

dont use the word par twice in 1 sentence

I sprinted towards him saw the boy lying on the cold

if you use this verb here, change it when you ue in about two sentences earlier

good impression. can you check out my ice cream essay
crazytaco - / 4  
Oct 30, 2010   #5
The structure is good~
However, it seems that the guilty guy in the 2nd paragraphy has nothing to do with ur thesis--"tolerance". And I think writing about "tolerance" is not a very good perspective of these anecdotes. It shows that you are a little weak~ Maybe your perseverance or courage to "fight against" the group of Caucasian teenagers is better. (It's just my opinion. I'm not a experienced essay writer, so don't completely trust me~~)

OP turntablespp 6 / 41  
Oct 30, 2010   #6
Hmm I think your right, I actually think I should cut the part out about the guilty guy. What I wanted to show was that fighting would never solve anything. The fact that those boys hurt a little innocent boy just because of a stereotype, I do not believe that fighting them would have proved anything. It would have actually made them more inclined to say that this stereotype is true; fighting them would not make them accept us as human being, they would continue to see us as a labeled propaganda.

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