A Life is Valuable

There are many things to appreciate in life. In my life, I value the people around me. Friends, family, and a loving boyfriend. I value the future, what is to come and all the possibilities there are. I value having a family one day. I value what I have been through and what I will go through. I value my hardships and the greatness that has come from them. I value the ability to move forward and do better. I value myself and who I am. I feel that after reading these articles, I value life a little more. Hamlet values not giving up even when it seems like you’re losing in life. However, he is a pessimist. Lance Armstrong is an optimist, he sees the good in the bad, the beauty in the struggle. The federal government measures life in dollar amounts. While just trying to help in what way they can, this can be hard for victims families to accept. I somewhat agree with the articles. I mostly agree with Lance Armstrong’s value of life and thought it was a beautiful representation of his view on life.

Hamlet feels that life is a difficult journey and that the value of one’s life comes from facing all of the hills and valley of the journey. He values not giving up. Hamlet begins his soliloquy wondering if he should continue facing the challenges of his life or avoid them by ending his life. He has found out that his uncle killed his father and married his mother. Hamlet wants to get revenge but is afraid of killing his uncle, the new king. Hamletr’s thoughts are best exonerated by this quote,

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them?

Hamlet is conflicted on whether he should continue to suffer through his troubles or end his life to avoid them. The phrase slings and arms is referring to all of the bad things coming at him in life. The term outrageous future suggests Hamlet feels he has been very unlucky to be put in his current situation. To take arms against a sea of troubles, he is talking about his ability to take action against these problems. The last part of the quote, And by opposing end them?, refers to his way out, suicide. Hamlet next explains why he is thinking about to be or not to be. Hamletr’s thoughts are further best exonerated with this quote,

To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wishd.

In this quote, we see Hamlet seems to view death as a never ending sleep where he can escape his problems. He believes it is an easy alternative to get away from heartache and the hardships we face in life. In his eyes this would be an easy way to meet his wishes, to end his pain and suffering. However, Hamlet knows that his suicide might create worse problems than he already has. Hamlet’s thoughts are further best exonerated by this quote,

To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, therer’s the rub (the problem);
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil (human body)
Must give us pause: therer’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.

Hamlet fears there may not be peace in death as he hopes. For in the sleep of death what dreams may come, with death comes uncertainty, this certainly worries Hamlet, making his decision even harder. Hamlet knows suicide is morally wrong and he may be punished for his wrongful actions. To continue suffering in his afterlife is another fear holding him back. Hamlet and all of his friends have been through many trials and tribulations. Hamlet’s thoughts are further best exonerated by this quote,

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud manr’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the lawr’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes..

In the first line, For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, Hamlet is saying who would put up with all of the heartache, hardships, and unfair treatment life throws at us, when one can easily just call it quits. At the end of the soliloquy, Hamlet has, because he fears the unknowns of the afterlife, he decided to keep living. His thoughts are further best exonerated in this quote,

The undiscoverd country from those bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Hamlet has came to the conclusion he does not know what may come after death. In this quote, The undiscoverd country.. refers to the unknown afterlife. Hamlet feels that the thought of the unknown frightens him more than the struggles he is going through in life. He would rather endure the pain in his current life than take the chance of unknown misery in the afterlife. He explains this in the last few lines of the quote: And what makes us rather bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of? After pondering the question, he decides to keep living.

Lance Armstrong, like Hamlet, feels that the value of life is in facing challenges. He compares life to riding a bike, One minute you are pedaling along a highway, and the next minute, boom, youre face down in the dirt. Armstrong values those people who get back up and continue riding the bike. Armstrong shows that he values getting up after a fall with his story about his cycling injuries. He shows this in the following quote, ..so many vehicles have hit me, so many times, in so many countries, Ive lost count. Ive learned how to take out my own stitches; all you need is a pair of fingernail clippers and a strong stomach. This is an example of what life means to Lance Armstrong. We many fall in life but getting back up is what really matters. His battle with cancer also shows that he values trying hard even if he might not win. He only had a 40% chance of beating his cancer. He explains how he felt about his experience with cancer in the following quote, Cancer was like that. It was like being run off the road by a truck, and Ive got the scars to prove it. He refers to his physical scars from various operations as well as his emotional scars that made him who he is today. Armstrong further develops his idea that people need to try hard when he says, You struggle slowly and painfully up hill, and maybe, if you work very hard, you get to the top ahead of everybody else. Armstrong wants readers to know that you must struggle to achieve success. He compares cancer to being run off the road by a truck. He develops the idea that sometimes you just have to get up and keep going. Armstrongr’s last idea the struggles each of us goes through can make us better people. He does not look at his illness as a terrible misfortune but rather an eye opening experience that has changed his life for the better. We can understand this from his quote, My illness was humbling and starkly revealing, and it forced me to survey my life with an unforgiving eye. Sometimes going through a struggle can lead you to better things and force you to look at life differently. Armstrong feels his illness has made him a better person and made him more appreciative of his life by helping him learn what is truly important to him.

Unlike Hamlet and Lance Armstrong, the Federal Government, looking at the value of the victims of Sept.11, focused only on the monetary value of each victim. Congress created the Victimr’s Compensation Fund that would be a safety net for the victims families, to ensure that they maintain something resembling their current standard of living. The task of deciding what each victim of 9/11 was worth was placed in the hands of Kenneth Feinberg who came up with formula that computed what each victim was worth, we read in the article What Is A Life Worth. This formula was formed into a chart that showed victims families an estimate of the amount of money they can receive. A flat amount for pain and suffering was determined to be $250,000. Add $50,000 for each spouse and each child. Then of course deductions of the income you are currently receiving such as social security, life insurance, pension, workers compensation. I think this formula is fair, after all they are just doing what they can to help. While it does not change things, at least the families are receiving something to help them avoid financial troubles after their losses. However, some families of the victims thought that the amount for pain and suffering was much too low. Gerry Sweeney argues that $250,000 doesnt help his nephew who no longer has a father. Another woman illustrates the pain of watching the towers collapse of live tv and then finding out she had lost a loved one. The compensation for pain and suffering was chosen because $250,000 is what beneficiaries receive when a firefighters or police officer die on the job. Feinburg says, The $50,000 was just some rough approximation of what I thought was fair, or rough justice. I dont think there is any amount of money that can compensate for the loss of a loved one.

However, that is not the fault of the government. I believe they are just doing what they can. Some families of victims thought that they should have received more money as compensation for their losses. One example is the family of Cheri Sparacio. Cheri Sparacio suffers the loss of her husband. She has two young children and a third on the way. Her husband was the main wage earner, as she only worked part time in order to care for their kids. Even with the money she may receive she will not be able to work and support her family without full time childcare. Sparacio explains why she doesnt feel this is enough, The government is not taking any responsibility for what itr’s done. This was just one screw up after another. She believes it is a cheap bride for the mistakes made. Other families had a more acceptable value placed on their lost family member. Samuel Fields was a security guard in Tower 1. On September 11, he helped people evacuate, went back in to help others, and never came back out. Some families will accept the government’s compensation because it allows them to get on with their lives. David Gordenstein who lost his wife Lisa on American Flight 11, says ..he would rather devote his life to raising his young daughters than pursue a lawsuit. I think he has the best attitude that he can in a situation like this. He does not see the compensation as trying to make up for his wifer’s death or measuring her worth but rather as a kind gesture of help that he accepts with thankful arms. He has chosen to get up and keep going for his children despite this challenging time in their lives.

I somewhat agree with Hamletr’s ideas on the value of life. I disagree with his thoughts on the easy way out, or suicide. I feel that this is a very controversial subject and is different for every person and situation. However, I agree with Hamletr’s views of the unknown life after death. I agree with pushing through your troubles rather than taking a chance on something you do not know of. I dont agree with Hamletr’s idea that we should continue to struggle in life simply because we dont know what death will be like. I do however, agree with Lance Armstrongr’s ideas on the value of life. I agree with his idea that we should get up when we fall and keep going. I also agree with his idea that there is usually good in the bad, from bad things can come greatness. Lastly, I agree with Armstrongr’s belief that the struggles we go through can make us better people. I agree with all of Armstrongr’s ideas. I think it is very important to keep trying, even when you feel like giving up. Finally, I agree with the Victimr’s Compensation Fundr’s ideas on a personr’s value. I agree that the government is just doing what they can to help victims of losses. I disagree with the argument that the amount of compensation is meant to determine the worth of oner’s life. I disagree with the idea that you can put a dollar value on a life. I think the idea of the fund is to do what can be done to help surviving families. It is not meant to make up for the loss of a loved one.

To conclude this argument, life is valuable. But there is no value that can be put on life. I believe a personr’s life is more valuable if you know and believe it is. And even if you are unsure, you are alive and that holds value regardless of your troubles. There is always room for change and improvement. To me thatr’s one of the best parts about life, the possibilities are almost endless. Personally, I value the people in my life. Past or present, every experience we go through has shaped us into the person we are today. I value my future and the ability I have to achieve what I want. Opportunity is everywhere. I often think about the future, it excites me to think about the many things I can do in life. A third part of life I value is the real, genuine moments in life. The ones where you just stop and think Wow Im so thankful for this, and realize in that moment, you are simply happy. I value the moments that mean something.

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