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2018 Youth Essay Contest

Describe Your Spiritual Experiences of Divine Love Directly and/or Through Others & How These Experiences May Have Increased Your Kindness and Compassion Toward All People

Due to the overwhelming success of The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love's first Youth Essay Contest, the Institute is pleased to announce a second essay competition for young people ages 13 to 15 and ages 16 to 19. The Institute is an inter-spiritual non-profit public charity founded in 2001 in Cleveland, Ohio, and currently based in New York, with a worldwide reach.

Specifics

I. Prizes

There will be a grand prize of $1,000 and a second place prize of $300 in each of our two age groups (13-15, 16-19).

Honorable Mention: In addition, 5 essays in each age group will be designated “Honorable Mention” which carries no prize but is a mark of distinction to be acknowledged with a certificate of excellence.

II. Due Date

February 1, 2018, midnight local time

III. Essay Length and Structure

Essays should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words, double-spaced, and written in English.

Section One:
Describe in depth your experiences of Divine love directly and/or through others.

Section Two:
Describe how these experiences may have helped you to realize the dignity and value of all people without exception.

Section Three:
Describe how these experiences may have increased your kindness and compassion toward all people.

IV. Selection Process

An international panel of Institute advisors will select the winning essays, which will be published on the Institute's special auxiliary website and included in a forthcoming book.

We encourage submissions from young people of any religious tradition (or from none) who can report a transformational spiritual experience of Divine love.

Note: Divine love is not mere human love. It is a Higher Love, associated with a Supreme Being, Allah, “God,” Ultimate Reality, the Great Spirit, the Holy Spirit, Om, or whatever name you prefer. There are people who experience Divine love directly, and others who experience is as working through others in surprising ways as if in answer to a prayer. We are interested in the details of your personal experience of Divine love, in how these experiences may have helped you to realize the dignity and value of all people without exception, and in how these experiences may have increased your kindness and compassion toward all people.

Unfortunately, in some places around the world religious hatred is found in children as young as four years of age, and religious persecution and violence is on the rise. We want to encourage youth to help us find a path to a future where Divine love for all humanity replaces hatred, brutality, and violence.

2018 Schedule

  • February 1  Essays due by midnight, local time.
  • April 15  Winners announced via email.
  • April 30  Winning essays and honorable mentions posted on the institute auxiliary website www.unlimitedloveinstitute.org.