The Value of Life

Topics: Life, Death, Afterlife Pages: 3 (813 words) Published: April 22, 2014
The Value of Life

It is only when a drastic event occurs that we begin to rethink how we live our lives. When people truly believe that their life will come to an end, they cherish every moment and aspect that they experience.

This essay examines three perspectives on the value of life. I will draw from “My Journey Back to Life”, an autobiography by award winning cyclist Lance Armstrong, “What is a Life Worth?,” a news report by Amanda Ripley, and “Unfinished Business,” an essay by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

Lance Armstrong’s autobiography, “My Journey Back to Life” is about living life to the fullest and taking things for granted. Lance Armstrong was an athletic cyclist who spent his life racing on his bike. He has been fighting an ongoing war with big trucks that has hit him many times. Lance Armstrong always figured if he died an untimely death, it would be because some rancher in his Dodge 4x4 ran him headfirst into a ditch. “One minute you’re pedaling along a highway, and the next minute, boom, you’re face-down in the dirt. A blast of hot air hits you, you taste the acrid, oily exhaust in the roof of your mouth, and all you can do is wave a fist at the disappearing taillights.” (Armstrong, 7). That’s how cancer feels like to Lance Armstrong, like being run off the road by a truck. Lance Armstrong used to take things for granted because he could endure more physical stress than most people and he doesn’t get tired while doing it. “My illness was humbling and sparkly revealing, and it forced me to survey my life with an unforgiving eye.” (Armstrong, 15). Cancer was the best thing that happened to Lance Armstrong.

Amanda Ripley’s news report,”What is a Life Worth?” is about putting a price tag on lives. Joseph Hewins was a poor workman who was barreled over by a train. Hewins left behind his wife and three children, who were poor even before his death. When his widow sued, she lost at every level. At that time, when a man died, he took...
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