July 30, 2008
The Value of Us
Do you know how much the "Mona Lisa" is worth? Davinci's painting is the most popular exibit at the Louvre museum in Paris and it was appraised at $100 million dollars way back in 1962. With inflation that would be about $670 million now. (I don't think she's that pretty. Maybe some people do but she's not my type, I guess.) It's also one of the most duplicated paintings in the world, by art students (besides that bowl of oranges).
I found a store, online, that sells hand painted, full-size reproductions; seven hundred and fifty bucks with free shipping. That's more than I'll be spending on a painting but not exactly $670 million. They're good paintings too! They're not so different from the original. We all understand the difference though, right? The original is valued because it's the original. Not because it has a certificate of authenticity (Sorry, but your beany babies are not the same kind of "original".) but because it was painted by the artist's own hand. That sounds fair to me.
Do you know how much a person is worth? Be completely honest with yourself. Think of three people: one who you like very much, one you barely know, and one you dislike just as much. Which of these people do you think is worth the most? Is it hard to answer that honestly and not feel like a jerk? Does it change things if no one likes the third person? How about if no one really knows the second person? Do you know where people get their value? From the artist who created them. Everyone in the world is valuable because they were created by God Himself.
We are resposible for how we live our lives but none of our choices make us more or less valuable. I'm going to borrow something from existentialist philosophy here.....just the name, I don't really like the rest of it and I could barely stand to read through the Wikipedia entry. Our existence is proof of our value. Let me show you what I mean.
We were created by God. God is all knowing. (He knew how He was making you and no part of you was accidental.) God has full creative power. (If He wanted to make you differently He could have.) That means that God is able to set His standards as high as He wants them and create you to meet those standards. The very fact that you are alive today proves that you are up to the standards of the greatest artist. You are who the artist wanted you to be. That doesn't mean that your actions are what they should be. You make mistakes and you sin (that's on purpose) but who you are is approved by God. He loves who you are! You are valuable.
Look in the mirror and see the value of that person. Now look over your shoulder at all the people around you. They all get their value from the same source.
In "The Weight of Glory" C.S. Lewis said "There are no mere mortals". We're all eternal creations made by the hands of God. Maybe this is a challenge. I guess it's just something to think about and be aware of how you see yourself and others. If you have any thoughts on this feel free to comment, that's why we're here. "