Monday, August 20, 2012

The Value of Another's Life... Do We Value it At All?

“Even though human life may be the most precious thing on earth, we always behave as if there were something of higher value than human life.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Simply turn the TV on and what do we see?
Headlines about a mass shooting in Colorado: 12 people murdered, and 58 wounded at a movie theatre.
Headlines about a Wisconsin Shooting: 7 People Killed at Sikh Temple.
In our own backyard (of Boston): Five slaying in four days; 3 innocent young women passengers in a car and a man (in a separate incident) on God’s most famous praise day of Sunday. A couple days later, the execution by stabbing of a man standing at a bus station…
They were all at vulnerable moments in their day, time and life…

What happened to solving issue with class, dignity, and honor? What happened to the good ole’ days, where if a man had an enemy, he would challenge him to a duel; not act as a coward, and gun/stab him down while he wasn’t prepared? What simply happened to valuing each other’s lives?

Human life has a value but yet we act like it is not worth the s*** we step on…
Human life has a value and yet it has none as we fail to make the time, as individuals, to determine what that value is…

Let’s all take a moment and turn from our usual thought process, “I don’t care about that person (or this person), why should I? I don’t know them, their lives doesn’t affect me.” Let’s take a moment and instead of judging the worth of someone else’s life based on their effect on us or lack thereof, let’s turn things around and imagine the value they place upon their own lives…

Let me humour you…
Stalin said “One death is a tragedy, but a million is just a statistic”. Humour you, because I’m using a quote by someone responsible for the deaths of about 20 million Russians in labour-camps. This quote, in no uncertain terms, does not minimize the monstrous magnitude of his actions. The reason why I’m bringing up his quote is, ironically and unfortunately, I feel that in the current era we live, one death has become just as much of a statistic as a mass killing. With mass killings, we connect with the location, with the magnitude and scale of the event more so than the actual individuals who were slaughtered and this only because the amount of casualties are overwhelmingly surreal. For people with love one’s that lose their lives in those “mass killings,” they will feel the tragedy as they are affected on a deeper and personal level …
It is easy to connect and personalize with 1 death and somewhat disconnect to a large number of deaths at one time, in one moment. I feel this way because to anyone sensible and “normal,” it is an occurrence unfathomable. However, now it seems that things (or mentalities) are heading in a backwards direction and we’ve come to a stage where we can’t even connect or be affected by 1 death. It’s not because it’s unfathomable but because we are getting desensitized due to the repetitiveness, making 1 death, 5 deaths or 20 deaths just a statistic.

“We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
~J.K Rowling

Be it far from me to say that the value of a life should be less than of a mass, but that if we could learn to value life not only by our “standard” but also by the owner of that life’s perspective, we would connect and prevent many tragedies.

Many tragedies are generated from a lack of self-esteem, lack of self-worth, a bruised ego, power struggles, and envy… There’s absolutely no regard for another person's life. As a whole, we have become uncaring about the pain and suffering we inflict on others. Human history is filled with violence towards one another, however we are reaching an alarming level in its occurrences (outside the war spectrum).

Some kill out of betrayal.
Some kill for revenge.
Some kill for sexual pleasure or dominance.
Some kill out of curiosity.
Some kill for fun.
Some kill for money.

Crime in this country is out of hand and needs to be undoubtedly attended. And while our leaders and the governments they oversee need to protect the society we live in, their job is not to raise it!
I believe society allows us to behave the way we do. It encourages the selfishness in us, which isolates us by making us think first and foremost about our own selves.

Since when is it okay to rape, abuse, molest, torture and to take someone else’s life? The senselessness of using violence and power as a conflict-solving option, damages the spirit of society. Showing regard for your fellow humans will extend and allow for longer lives.

So what is the value of life? The value of your life is something that you, yourself put a value on. You can say that another human is expendable and not worth your time, day and the air you breathe or you can say it’s a priceless gift…The only way you’ll be able to determine the value of someone else’s life is by valuing your own life and of those connected to you. At the end of the day, the choices we make will determine our actions and tolerance or rejection to others…

“You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don't know it, all of that doesn't even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It's not like you have forever, so don't waste any of your seconds, don't throw even one of your moments away.”
~C. JoyBell C.

What is your perceived value of someone else's life? How do you value your own life? What and who is to blame for people selfish behavior?

To valuing our most precious gift… Life…

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