This I Believe

Ya Peng - Elmhurst, New York
Entered on April 22, 2008

As my boyfriend edged closer to the spider, tissue in hand, he screamed “Donk!” and killed the spider instantly. I was standing at the corner of my room alongside my roommate and far away from the yellow spider that lurked on our ceiling. As much as I hated anything with more than four legs, I was surprised to realize that I felt sympathy towards that little creeper. Its death was instant and even a little comical. As I watched my boyfriend carry its twisted remains to the garbage can I started to wonder if that spider deserved such a death. This obviously sounds silly coming from a girl who was hiding in the corner of her room because there was a spider the size of a nickel on the other side. A part of me wanted the spider gone, dead, seized to exist! The other part of me kept asking, “Why would I want something that had done nothing wrong, dead?”

Honestly, the reason why I wanted that spider dead was because I was afraid of its hideousness. However, was it morally right to just kill something that looked ugly? If I was walking down the street and I thought the person who just turned the corner was unattractive, should I shoot that person? I could, but then I will be sent to jail for murdering an innocent person. Our society views killing innocent people as a morally wrong act, but it is morally all right to kill innocent spiders. What makes a spider or any other living creature’s life less valuable than ours? I believe that every creature, no matter how small, has the same right to live as much as us humans do.

That night as I walked back to my dorm room from class, I remembered looking up at the night sky that was embedded with stars and realizing how small we are as humans. Compared to our galaxy I feel we are only a part of something much greater than what we are. When compared to the universe, we are only little specks in a never-ending sea of unknown. What significance do humans and all living creatures have in this little world of ours? Perhaps none, we don’t know.

All I know is that our belief in the value of life is what keeps us in existence. If we didn’t believe our lives had any value, than there would be no point in existing. Therefore, if we believe that our lives mattered, why not smaller creatures as well. We all live under the same night sky and we are all members of the universe. Smaller creatures lives has no less of a value than ours.

The next day in my English class, I noticed a ladybug under my desk. My friend wanted to kill it but I said, “No, wait” and I took the ladybug in a piece of paper and set it free out the window.