Value of Life

“Hey, can you hold this flashlight for me?” I said as I struggled to try and hold the camera steady.  At the same time I was trying to hold the flashlight steady to take a picture of a little hermit crab scurrying along on the dark sand.  “Sure.”, my one friend said and he took the flashlight so that I could take the picture. 

Meanwhile another friend makes what at the time I had thought to be a somewhat cruel joke, but nevertheless what I thought to be a joke, about taking the very hermit crab, after I was done taking the picture, and throwing it into the campfire. I took my picture and then as promised, but certainly not expected, my second friend picked up the very hermit crab that I had just taken a picture of and threw it into the campfire which was still lit that we had made earlier that night.

A mixture of “Hey, why’d you do that?” to “What’s your problem”s erupted from the few of us who saw.  To be honest we kind of just let it roll off as he wasn’t the kindest person anyway.  When he did this he proved that he didn’t value the life of that poor hermit crab and that he doesn’t value other’s lives.

Another time when my friends and I were back in third grade my science teacher got a couple of mice and put them into a tank with a hamster.  Our science teacher had gotten them for feeding to the snake, named King, as he was a king snake, but he figured that they’d all be okay in there for a bit until he got a chance to feed the snake after school or whenever it got hungry.  Class was calm but then all of the sudden, CRASH, BOOM, BANG!  Now two mice were dead and one injured, later to be named Survivor.  I guess that technically we should have been really sad for a the mice and we were a little sad but…we were a bit more interested in watching the snake eat the two mice that had died.  As we watched we chanted “Go King, Go King, poor mousy, Go King, Go King etc.”  Now I suppose that being in third grade we weren’t exactly the best example of valuing life but we are an example.

Now that I’m getting up so early to go to school the only thing to really watch in the morning is the news. So some mornings I sit there watch it and just on an average day I can see the headlines go by and I can see anything from “One man shot by corner store”, to something like “four dead and three wounded in a shoot out”.  These aren’t just little kids who don’t know really what the difference between right and wrong is these are full grown adults.

This weekend I had another reminder of the fact that some people just don’t value life.  It was 12:00AM and absolutely silent in the house.  Then the phone rang and it was my dad’s work, it’s the emergency desk.  The police needed to search an inlet because they thought that a murderer has tossed a gun or a knife, and other evidence down into the inlet and it needed to be found.  Yes, the crew did find a weapon and they turned it over to the police.  Not only do these people not value life but they want to make it seem, in one sense at least, as if some people’s lives just didn’t ever happen.  

Some people don’t value life.  Younger people may not be able to appreciate the value of life.  So I guess that valuing life does sort of depend on your age and it also does depend on your maturity level.  But it also has to do I think with just the fact of whether you care about anything or anyone else.  Life is precious, you only get one, and some people just don’t get that at all.