In the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, a group of soldiers end up finding out more about themselves in course of attempts at rescuing another soldier — one soldier. Among other things, they discovered just how much some of the soldiers resented risking their lives to save just one soldier. While the mission was a success, it was not without casualties, belying resentment of losing more than one life to save just one. Why was Private Ryan’s life more important than lives of several soldiers? Well, Private Ryan’s other two brothers had died in the war. If Private Ryan’s family line was to be preserved, Private Ryan had to be taken out of the war effort.
Saving Private Ryan had become more important than the potential loss of several lives in course of effecting of his rescue.
But was this really true?
Well, Private Ryan already had lost two lives to the war effort. Saving him and preserving his lineage had merit exactly because the war already had cost him a lot. In light of his loss, his life had just as much merit as lives of foreigners for which same soldiers were fighting and gladly laying down their lives. Much the same as taking a mountain during a war effort is more important than not losing soldiers, saving of Private Ryan’s life had become more important than losing soldiers.
The movie “Saving Private Ryan” raises a rhetorical question, which is,
What is the worth of one life or the worth of preserving one family’s lineage? Is it worth lives of several soldiers? How much is too much of a cost to save just one life?
One of the things most admired about countries such as the United States of America? The commitment to every single life. While shootings of young black men seem on the face of it contradictory to a society that values every life, such shootings make the news for exactly the same reason: the fact that every life has value. In Myanmar, absent BBC and CNN, shootings of many men, women, and children probably would not make the news within Myanmar itself. Clearly it would be better if young black men made the news because they were rescued from danger by the police. The reality, however, is shootings of young black men make the news exactly because each and every life matters in the United States of America.
Where am I going with this? Suppose your country values each life as much as is the case in the United States of America. Now ask yourself,
Do you value your life as much as the government of your country values each life?
If you do, you believe you deserve to be happy, prosperous, and content while striving for progress and ultimately stability. All of this assumes of course you wish the same for the person standing next to you at the store counter, or for the neighbor you happen to run into every once in a while. If you do not wish your neighbor the same, you desire your life valued, but your neighbor’s undervalued merely because your neighbor is not you. But if everyone undervalued their neighbor’s life while valuing theirs, it is impossible to create a government that values each and every life in a country. Only a government that values some lives, but undervalues others would be feasible. The outcome?
At least fifty percent of the time, each person would fall into the group consisting of undervalued lives. Given you would decrease probability of undervalue of your life to zero percent if you valued lives of others, you would improve your happiness, prosperity, and contentment by simply valuing lives of others around you.
One of the reasons marriage is difficult today? At least one party to a marriage values their life more than that of their partner. They believe their partner has no right to demand companionship when they are beset with personal demands such as schooling, a totally rational excuse for emotional detachment for some period of time. The same marriage partners berate their significant others as not having any love for them, however, whenever their partners are in exactly the same situation. So when they have demands on their time, their partner is required to understand. When their significant other has demands on his or her time, they are jerks if unable to combine such demands with their spouse’s need for intimacy. Their life is important, their significant other’s not so much.
Marriage to a large extent is a microcosm of society at large.
If we would value each life much the same we value ours — marriage, family, the workplace, and society all would be much better for us all.