One day several years ago, I got to thinking about the value of people. Any one human life is irreplaceable, and each a perfect creation of God in His image. Settled. What I thought about, just for fun and to prove a point, was to establish just how much money a human being might conceivably be worth. From a theological perspective, this is, of course, impossible. From a lighthearted and human interest story perspective, this turned out to be quite interesting.
First, I had to figure out how much a single body part might be worth, I read several stories of tragedies that happened to people and the settlements they received. One woman applied medication to her face and it caused her to lose her eyesight. She received a $1,000,000 settlement from the insurance company. Another person fell at work and broke his back, rendering him unable to work. He received a $1,000,000 settlement from the insurance company. Let me ask you this? Would you trade places with either person for the $1,000,000? Probably not. I can guarantee you, though, without any fear of error, that either one of them would give back the money in exchange for their faculties back. There’s no amount of money you could pay me to make me willing to surrender my eyesight to be able to see my son grow up. There’s no amount of money you could pay me to be willing to never walk again and never be able to play ball with my son again or play games with him. In fact, there’s nothing that’s biologically a part of me that I would sacrifice for the money. I’ve never met anyone else that felt differently.
So, we’ve got $2,000,000 for just two parts, and we haven’t even got started. The most famous case of insurance for a body part has to be Jennifer Lopez. People Magazine reported in 2015 that J. Lo. had one particular aspect of her anatomy insured… for $27,000,000! I’m not sure why it would be necessary for one to insure their derrière. I’ve never heard of a case where one’s derriere fell off and just could not be reattached. Interestingly, it was also reported that one celebrity insured their smiley for $30,000,000, just in case they got a cavity. Last time I got a filling, it was about $50 with the insurance. Not tracking the value there.
But let’s just take the example of the $27,000,000 insurance of the posterior. That’s just one part of the body. According to the American Association of Anatomists, there are about 7,500 parts in the human body. First, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as an association that just tracked the anatomy of things. Interesting. Second, I didn’t know there were so many parts to the human body! Just to put it in perspective, I toured the National Corvette Museum with my family last year. During the tour, the said that it takes over 5,000 parts to make “America’s Sports Car”. There are 2,500 more parts to make up a person than a Corvette! And that is only if you don’t count cells as parts!s! We truly are marvelous creations of God. And, in spite of our complexity and vast number of parts, we have complete autonomy. The Corvette, on the other hand, does absolutely nothing without one of us 7,500-part beings to operate it. We are truly special.
Here comes the valuation. If one backside can be insured for $27,000,000, and there are 7,500 parts to the human body, that come up to… well, let me grab my calculator. It comes up to… $2.025e11. Yeah, I didn’t have any idea how much money that was either. Fortunately, I had access to my college’s mathematics department. I stopped in and was immediately greeted by a student intern. “How may I help you?”, she asked. I told her about the experiment I was conducting and showed her the strange number that came up on my iPhone’s calculator. I told her I didn’t know what it meant and asked her if someone there could break it down to a more understandable number for me. Although she initially said nothing, the look on her face said, “You silly, silly little man. How could you now know what this number means?” I guess she had a point; I did graduate from the place, after all. Finally, she said, “Sure, I can tell you what it means. It is $202,500,000,000,000.” Perplexed, I asked her, “So, you’re saying it is two hundred and two trillion, five hundred billion?” “That’s it!”, she replied. I thanked her for her time and walked out – completely astounded.
To put this number into perspective, I had to find out how much money actually exists in all of the world’s economy – all 195 nations worth. A quick Google revealed the answer. Business Insider reported that the CIA estimated in 2018 that the world economy is about $80 trillion dollars.
Do you realize what this means? It means that if you had to quantify the value of a human being (which we know we can’t, but just for fun), every person on Earth is worth more than double all of the money in the world. Does that give you new perspective on the value of a human life? Does it give you new perspective on your own worth? It should. Not only can life only be created by God, it would be impossible to replace one with all the money in the world – or even double the money. Your life is priceless! What a wonderful gift from God our lives are.
While attending the FBI-LEEDA Command Institute, an instructor named Dean Crisp taught me a lesson that has and will stick with me for the rest of my life. He told me that every person in the world is the most important person in the world to someone else. He’s right. When I started to see others as the most important person in the world to someone, they immediately took on new importance to me, no matter who they were. If everyone in the world is the most important person in the world to someone else, are worth more than all the money on Earth, and are God’s creations in His own image, they are the most special beings on Earth. We have that much value personally, but so does everyone else. We have to love and respect all of God’s children, even if we don’t like them all. That’s normal; we don’t like everybody we meet or know. But we can, and must, love them as God’s children in order to reach our pinnacle as Christians.
The Bible chimes in on this important concept. 1 Corinthians 13:13 stated, “But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” God loves when we love others. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Remember the blessings you have received, be grateful for them, and use your blessings to add value to others. Give to those that are in need. Make the world a better place for everyone. Jackie Robinson once remarked, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” The world needs =7you to be great. You are great already! You are one of God’s most perfect creations, worth more than all the money in the world. Now, go out there and be great for all the other people that are also God’s perfect creations worth more than all the money in the world!
May God bless you, now and always.