Disturbing things have been happening in the world, as it seems to always have been, but it prompts me to write about the value of life. What is a life? What does this question mean to you? Life, whether through an animal, insect, or human being, is very valuable, and is very important. Most people (not the ones I know, for the people I surround myself with are compassionate and kind) do not empathize or even sympathize with others because ignorance is their bliss. If it’s not ignorance, than it is cruelty.
Personally, I can never understand how some people can view themselves to be superior to others … based solely on their skin color, their ethnic backgrounds, and the money they make. The world has been making this mistake for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Colonization. That’s a big one. For the larger countries, colonization had sparked and fueled the fire of racism and the belief that lighter skin tone is far superior. It has been ingrained into the many generations that followed and it’s still out there. The lives that are marginalized, how can someone even determine that their lives are worth less than others?
Upon asking for input from my friends about this topic, they added even more to the conversation. We discussed people with mental health issues. The value of life can be taken to mean something much less for those who are depressed and/or suicidal. Also, from an outsider point of view (those who do not suffer from mental health issues), “historically, people with mental illnesses weren’t considered fully human/alive” (qtd. from friend) and that is now different, a role reversal of a sort, if you will. Moreover, “now people with mental [illnesses] are applauded with the prerequisite that their illnesses are productive” (qtd. from friend). As time moves along the world begins to see life as something different. We also discussed how the quote “living every day as if it were your last day” is not entirely realistic, because people would become way too chaotic if we truly did live that way. If we use that as an excuse to do reckless things, don’t we endanger the life we so-called want to live? Also, why do we emphasize the lives of celebrities over everyone else’s? Media does not help, when all they report on are if a celebrity changed his/her hair or didn’t wear makeup while going out. The media has the power to “maximize or minimize lives” (qtd. from friend) and that creates perspectives for the masses that may not be conducive to the value of human life.
Now, people are still turning their cheeks to the horrible things happening outside of their bubble (where they undoubtedly feel safe and non-threatened). I look at these people and think, “but we are all the same.” How do people sleep at night knowing that there are terrified children right in our backyards? What about the families fleeing and seeking refuge from their own homes being ravaged by war?
I cannot fathom the hurt I feel when I meet people or see people on social media who seem to not care about the life of a person. Who made you this way? How can you not sympathize? Where is your humanity?
Human life is so extraordinary. Not one of us is the same. Even identical twins. They may look the same, but they are more than likely to share personality differences. Life is precious. Especially those of children, because they are still growing, and they are still learning. You can make a huge change in a child’s future with the thoughts and ideas you share with them (and let them share with you). Remember to have discussions like these with the people around you. Stimulate your mind! If you have children, stimulate their minds too!
Happy Curl, Happy Girl
Curly Island Girl