The value of life is something which people have struggling to decide upon for a very long time. Some people give all life the same value, endeavouring to treat animals and humans with the same level of care. Others, though, will value their own life above all others, and this can lead to big societal challenges which are hard to overcome. When it comes to large organisations, the value which is placed on life becomes a little more obvious. How exactly do the organisations you rely on value your life, though?
In the world of insurance, balancing numbers is a normal part of the job, and companies often have to distance themselves from the people they serve. In the case of life insurance, the payout from these policies can be seen as a direct reflection of the value of someone’s life. While it is called insurance, this sort of product is more like a savings account, with the money you put into being the same as the amount your loved ones receive when you pass. In some cases, this can be as much as $250,000 or as little as a few thousand, with some companies being far tighter than others.
When examining the value of life, it’s always a good idea to take a look at what happens to those who are willing to take someone else’s away. Murder is a surprisingly common crime, and some places will go as far as punishing those who commit it with their own early death. In this case, it could be argued that life is being given its true value; another life. A homicide attorney will look at this differently, though. Even just a couple of years in prison will seem like too much to someone like this, and this is because they get to see the human side of those who commit crimes like this.
Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the value your government will give to the lives of its citizens. In reality, most establishments like this don’t care about the individuals they serve, instead acting in the interests of the whole community. This means that the value of life can often be stilted, with the main metric used to decide this factor being the amount of tax each person contributes. If you were to die tomorrow, this is just about the only impact your government would feel, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It shows that they are working in a direction which benefits everyone.
With all of this in mind, it may be easy to start feeling cynical about the way that different organisations value life. Certain aspects of life call for a little bit of coldness, though, and the roles which these groups play force them to look at life as a commodity. This doesn’t mean that you have to do the same, and can keep treating life as something sacred, but it’s worth being aware of how you might find yourself being treated.