Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Worth of Your Life: According to Society by Mikayla Halsell

       Yesterday, while scrolling down my newsfeed on Facebook, I came across a picture that was appalling on so many different levels. As I examined and analyzed the picture and it's content, I became more and more disgusted with the moral decline in our society.

DISCLAIMER: The picture contains a list of activities, some invovling inappropriate content, that may not be suitable for younger children. Viewer's discretion is advised.

       I found this picture with the title of "Add up all of the things you've done and see how much your life is worth." In the comments below, countless people were posting how much "money" they had accumulated and were sharing how much their life was "worth". I can't decide which appalls me more: the fact that people believe that their life's worth is determined by how many "cool" or "rebellious" things they've done, or that the actions on this list are even considered praiseworthy and meritorious at all. 

       The top three things listed that are "worth the most" are:
                1) "Had sex"
                2) "Been in a fist fight"
                3) "Got drunk"
       And then all tying for 4th place are "Kissed someone of the opposite sex", "Kissed someone of the same sex", "Been expelled", "Done drugs", and "Got arrested". 

       Is this really what makes our life worth something? The very first thing on this list is "Had sex". So is that the meaning of life? Should that be the goal that we all strive for? I'm sorry if you have contrary views, but I am deeply offended by this.  
       All throughout my life, I have been taught to seek Christ first, love others, and strive for excellence in everything I do. Granted, not everyone has had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home, but I would hope that everyone would have been taught at least some morals. Taking my religious and spiritual beliefs aside for a moment, my parents taught me good morals. I knew that all of the following would be required of me and I was expected to learn/achieve all of them:

   - Make the best grades that I could
   - Follow the rules in class or at home
   - If I broke the rules, consequences would follow
   - Tell the truth
   - Do not cheat (on school work or people)
   - Respect other people
   - Be responsible 
   - Accept your mistakes and learn from them
   - Be dependable 
   - Earn trust by consistently being obedient/following through with your promises
   - Have integrity 
   - Be humble 

       These are just a few of the things that I learned as a CHILD. Yes, I failed at all of them. Probably several, several times. But they were, nevertheless, instilled in me from day one, all the way until the present. Even though I still mess up, I am aware of these morals and I do my best every day to achieve them. 

       However, according the the list above, I wonder whether or not these morals are still existent in homes around America today. Almost every single action directly opposes some of the morals previously mentioned. This leads me to question if children today are even being taught morals at all. If they are, then they certainly are not listening. Children that grow up without morals are the kind of kids that "mature" into teenagers and youth adults that think their life is measured by how many rebellious/"cool" things they did in high school and college. However, in reality, the compilation of everything listed sounds more like a negligent high schooler looking for attention and making all the wrong choices in the process. 
       In a moment of vulnerability, I am guilty of some of the actions listed above. Am I proud of them? Absolutely not. Do I go around bragging about everything that I've done? No, I don't. But based on the list, the more bad things that you have done, the more "bragging rights" you have earned. In all honesty, none of the actions are "brag-worthy". Almost all of them lead to hurt, regret, and even lifelong consequences. The top 8 things to achieve all have their consequences, some of which could even be quite dire (getting drunk, getting arrested, getting expelled, and doing drugs). My point is, none of these things should hold any merit in of themselves. Yet, they, supposedly, are key components in making your life worth something. This is completely opposite of the way it should be. 
       I have spent my life trying to excel academically, serve other people, acquire integrity, learn to love, persevere through difficult situations, strengthen my weaknesses, accept responsibility, go beyond what is expected of me, learn from my mistakes, overcome peer pressure, develop different skills, refine my talents, expand my knowledge, apply wisdom, inspire others, become a leader, earn trust, obtain respect from all age groups, and yet....none of these things are considered meritorious or included on a list that determines how much my life is worth. THAT is what offends me. 

       None of those actions listed in the above picture should be relevant at all in determining whether or not your life has worth. And anyone who believes otherwise is a fool. I know that is harsh, but it's true. Life is measured by so much more than petty, irresponsible conduct. I truly hope that my generation comes to that realization quickly and ceases to conform to the impetuous and negligent behavior that is rampant in our society. 

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