The value of life does not depend on the length of days, but how we make use of them; not in what other people perceive, but whether we are living satisfactorily and contentedly. Our outlook, our estimate of ourselves and  of our values are largely colored by our environment. They are modified, shaped, molded by our surroundings, by the character of the people with whom we come in contact.

I have often wondered why is it that we love ourselves more than all the rest of men, but yet, some of us set less value on our own opinions and of ourselves than on the opinions of others. I have always believed, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way, we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value to us without necessarily the influence of other people. 

Here’s an inspiring parable about a man who went to God and asked, “What’s the value of life?” God gave him one stone and said, “Find out the value of this stone, but don’t sell it.”

The man took the stone to an orange seller and asked him what its cost would be. The orange seller saw the shiny stone and said, “You can take 12 oranges and give me the stone.” The man apologized and said that the God has asked him not to sell it.

He went ahead and found a vegetable seller. “What could be the value of this stone?” he asked the vegetable seller. The seller saw the shiny stone and said, “Take one sack of potatoes and give me the stone. He apologized and said he can’t sell it.

Further ahead, he went into a jewelry shop and asked the value of the stone. The jeweler saw the stone under a lens and said, “I’ll give you 50 Lakhs (Indian number unit) for this stone.” When the man shook his head, the jeweler said, “Alright, alright, take 2 crores (larger Indian number unit) but give me the stone.” The man explained that he can’t sell the stone.

Further ahead, he saw a precious stone’s shop and asked the seller the value of the stone. When the precious stone’s seller saw the big ruby, he lay down a red cloth and put the ruby on it. Then he walked in circles around the ruby and bent down and touched his head in front of the ruby. “From where did you bring this priceless ruby from?” he asked. “Even if I sell the whole world, and my life, I won’t be able to purchase this priceless stone.”

Stunned and confused, the man returned to the God and told him what had happened. “Now tell me, what is the value of life, God?”

God said, “The answers you got from the Orange seller, the vegetable seller, the jeweler and the precious stone’s seller explain the value of life.  You may be a precious stone, even priceless, but people may value you based on their level of information, their belief in you, their motive behind entertaining you, their ambition, and their risk taking ability. But don’t fear, you will surely find someone who will discern your true value.”

In the eyes of God we are very precious. Let us respect and value ourselves because we are unique, no one can replace us.

By Tim Pedrosa


   True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost. - Charles Caleb Colton