The biggest contrast between life as I know it here in the United States and my home country of China is that life is so much more un-equal in China.

Walking down the streets of Shanghai, I see spectacularly beautiful, rich buildings set next to construction sites where the poor work for less than a dollar a day. You can observe a lot just walking around, seeing everyone from both ends of the spectrum. Life ceases to be precious when there’s ten other people waiting to replace your miserable existence, waiting to take what meager possessions you have, waiting to snatch away the money you earned with your blood sweat for your hungry children, waiting to live in the five square feet of living space you’re allowed. When you have no hope of ever achieving anything beyond existing, beyond merely surviving, how precious is life?

For the villagers that persevere solely from selling their blood, to the rural families that have one pair of pants to wear between everyone in the entire family, what is the concept of human rights to them? When the talks of human rights, all the protests against the horrid conditions and awful treatments of human beings in China begin anew, think about where the money that is going to support bettering these peoples lives will come from? A billion is a lot of people. Before you criticize the enforced policy of one child per family, think about how merely keeping all the new children alive will be possible, never mind the space that all the extra people will need. Before we talk about human rights, before it has any meaning, life has to be precious.

There are simply too many people and not enough resources in the world. Someone has to suffer for us to live as lavishly as we do. And yes – lavishly – that’s the right word. So the next time the Internet is down, Richard, and you’re cursing up a storm, stop for a moment and think about all the people in this world that would love to be you, to live in your home, to have clothes to wear, to have your education, to have this chance for a good life. Stop thinking about how life sucks for you, because it sure as heck sucks for a lot more people.

"Everything can be taken from a man but ...the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Viktor Frankl
Man’s Search For Meaning

I have often thought that truly the greatest thing about The United States of America is the base understanding that life is precious, for it is this meme that I believe is the core of the American Dream. It is the belief that not only can we survive any hardship, but that we can thrive. So, kamalian I say: BUY IN.

I know that this may appear the naiveté born of entitlement that American’s can’t help but feel, based on such lucky circumstances that allow us to go through our lives never understanding the suffering of other places, other people.

However, there can be value in that suffering. In the choice to face the hardship, people can derive meaning…

If everything sucks, and if everything has been taken, and all that remains for any individual, is that choice: the choice to say I will continue unbowed and unbroken, for those people the choice to continue becomes everything.

That is not to say that I don’t see the new nihilism in America, in my friends, in my self. But I think that is wrong.

So, I will say it twice BUY IN Choose to always see all life as precious, with all the arrogance that implies. Because who am I to deny those who are suffering that choice?

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.