This I Believe

Clark - Irmo, South Carolina
Entered on February 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Every Life is Priceless

I believe that every human life is valuable. A single life has the power to affect people in ways they could never have imagined.

When a loved one dies or moves away, we realize how much that person means to us, and how empty our lives are without them. Three people at my high school died in two separate car accidents last year, and I learned how important two random lives meant to me. I had hardly known these two people, and knew little about them; I had two classes, one with each of the two, and that was the extent of our friendships. Yet I felt a hole where laughter and jokes used to be in my class, a void that seemed irreparable. The people I hardly knew had filled my life with priceless companionship; their lives had become valuable to me.

At a church camp this last summer, I learned how important even simple, ordinary lives could be to me. I roomed with a teenager about my age, and we seemed to have very different upbringings. I looked down on him at first for his lower morals and strange manner. However, as I went to classes and sports activities during the course of the week, we became close friends and he taught me a lot about life. He related to me his struggle to become a better person and how his life had not been a decision to have low morals, but a struggle to have higher morals. I learned that his experiences had been every bit as deep as my own, and his life had been as much of a learning experience as my own. I benefited unimaginably from talking with him. Though I barely expected to learn from the roommate I deemed mediocre, I learned a great deal in just a week. Learning so much helped draw us closer, and parting at the end of camp was heartrending.

As I have talked to, listened to, and spent time with other people, their lives have shaped my own. Whenever I have touched their lives, their lives have touched mine as well. My Christian faith has taught me that every life is valuable, even the lives of outcast, downtrodden, or hated individuals. I have been taught that God loves everyone, and everyone has a place in his grand plans. I have realized that everyone has his or her own special place in my life, and no one is truly insignificant. If God has a place for everyone in his plan, no human life can be overlooked. No human should be left out of the circle, no human is too horrible to be shunned, and every human death affects us.

I believe that every human life is precious. Life has shown me that everyone we know connects with us in a unique way. With each death, either of a loved one or of a distant acquaintance, we lose a precious piece of our life. I believe what John Donne once said: “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”