Values are in many ways a pompous word. Everyone speaks about values; we must build on values, Companies are having documents about their values and more. And then we can speak a about human value, dignity and worth.
But what makes us noisy monkeys so valuable? Are we really valuable at all? If so, why? Looking at glossy magazines, it may seem that it’s the appearances that determines whether we are valuable or not. Jennifer Lopez is so beautiful and sexy, so when she’s got to be better or worth more than me… Or maybe it’s the celebrity factor that decides Our value? Was not Kurt Nilsen valued more when he became the winner of world idol rather than just an anonymous plumber?
Wat about kings or presidents? If we are valued from how much power we got, then the general counts more than a private soldier? It sertainly seems to be like this when we watch the news. Or maybe nationality? If two people of Our own nationality should die, it will be much more covered in the News than the two and a half million single people who have died in the war in Congo. But what about status? Most of us long for being accepted by other People, and specially by the “right” or “cool” ones? Is coolness an indicator of worth?
Many probably would take these initial proposals and questions and interpret them rhetorically, but I would still linger a bit with this. Unless status, power, position and appearance counts in terms of whether we are valuable, isn’t it amazing how much we focus on this Things and are striving to get more of it. Perhaps we, although we intellectually understand that it is “wrong” and not “politically correct”, emotionally feel more valuable if we can cope better in these areas? My claim is that whether we were to achieve – or be born with – success in one of these areas or more, we will never be completely satisfied.
Is it what we do with our lives that give us value? If I climb to the top of Mount Everest, will it increase my value? What if I rescue a baby from a fire or stop someone from bullying the mongoloid boy in School? This is indeed very praiseworthy deeds, and then have to Count for something. Or? Is usefulness of something, or whether it is good or bad, what determines our value? To put it very simply; Is mother Teresa worth more than Hitler? Many will immediately say yes to this, but is it so easy? It’s well beyond doubt that she did much more good and useful to mankind than Hitler. Her actions are much more valuable than his. But IS she more valuable? If we say yes, then our value fluctuate based on what we do and what stage we are in. An infant or a paralyzed person will then have a much lower value than an active, “good Samaritan”. Our value is then not constant, but measured by what we deliver of deeds to society. It’s related to our performance. The same applies if we judge by the intellect. Some people try to find mankinds uniqe worth by focusing on that which makes us stand apart from the rest of the animals, we are much smarter and we can “think”. But this still remains a performance measurement, plus it just becomes a level difference between us and a flea. Besides: What about seriously mentally handicapped?
We also have other possible answers. Christianity claim we have an infinite value in ourselves, regardless of what we perform With our lives. Almost paradoxically it will say that this is rooted in something beyond ourself, in the One who created us. From the Bible’s creation story it’s told that God created man “in his own image”. This gives a special position. Then we have an infinite value just because we ARE.
We have value simply because we are human beings. We are unique people that God has given an “infinite price tag” regardless of gender, appearance, position and so on. Jesus emphasizes how much God loves us through the image of the shepherd searching for one sheep or the story of the dad that makes a great feast when his son finally come home after having squandered the whole heritance. Christians believe that the worlds creator not only think we are ok, but loves us so much that He died to be with each of us.