Lately, we’ve been inundated with information that consists of numbers. We hear of number of lives lost to the Coronavirus; we’ve heard about lives per nursing home, lives per county and lives per age bracket or gender.
And then we have some consummate idiot in Nova Scotia who randomly ends the lives of eighteen in Canada’s deadliest shooting. What happened to the value of one life?
It doesn’t take much to come up with single lives that changed the world for the good. One life discovered a vaccine for polio. Several individual lives saved many thousands of Jewish adults and children from murder during World War II. And two lives permanently changed the direction of technology at Apple and Microsoft.
We just can’t minimize life if we are to survive as a civilization. While we don’t have the opportunity to grieve for each life lost to Coronavirus or meaningless killings or babies who don’t survive childbirth, we must remember them with respect and kindness.
Any one of them could have made a powerful impact on the world. That world could have been a classroom, a city, a country or the earth.
One of my favorite expressions is as follows: Whoever destroys a single life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world. Indeed, any of us can save the world.
Every day, I am grateful for one more occasion to occupy this planet, regardless of the gifts I’ve brought or the changes I’ve made or hope to make. As long as we can cherish the lives we touch, we give those lives one additional boost to reach a destiny of unknown proportion. That life may wind up to be more astounding than any mind can imagine. Shalom.