I had the privilege of living in France for several years. During that time, my salary was paid in dollars and converted to euros, hence, our family budget was directly impacted by the exchange rate. As the dollar significantly devalued towards the end of our stay, it generated much anxiety and difficulty.
In the same way, I propose that life is like a currency. If life is valued, then it’s currency is strong, and we can expect that it will be respected and preserved at all costs, and will help us to manage some of the threats against it. However, if devalued, it means that other competing ‘currencies’ are rising in value, and all kinds of difficulties will emerge.
The global value placed on life has always fluctuated according to cultural and historical contexts. In an era, where many have championed the cause of human rights, we have also seen some of the worst crimes against humanity. Rwanda, Darfur, and Eastern Congo are just a few scenarios that standout in the past decade.
Indeed, the spirit of revolution that is sweeping the Middle East is shining light on the current ‘exchange rate’. Money, power, and status is, and perhaps has always been, of far greater value than human life. Of course, that is to be expected on the grand scale politically and economically. As history has proven over and over, to the victor goes the spoils.
What concerns me more, is how the devaluation of life is now playing out in individual lives and society as a whole. Just consider our own country for a moment. Whether it’s controversial topics like abortion and the death penalty, or societal ills like gang warfare, kiddie porn, school violence, human/drug trafficking, homelessness, serial killers, etc. it all reflects the currency of life.
Life is losing its value before our very eyes. People are becoming disposable. The vulnerable are being victimized, and worst of all, those of us who could reverse the trend are being desensitized. If love conquers all, then lets start by loving life again!