Approaching the Value of Life

Elías ViverosMarch 23, 2021Life and DeathInterfaith Connections

Artwork by Dimitriy Uvchenko, age 16

Known as one of the most difficult concepts to define, life could be described as any form of existence that includes a cycle of birth, development, reproduction, and death.

When it comes to the concept of life, we can include different areas, such as animals, plants, and so on. However, in the case of human beings, the discussion about what life is and its importance becomes more complex. They are the only living beings that can reflect on abstract and incomprehensible phenomena.

Life is what allows us to grow, create bonds, and also relate to other living beings. In addition, life gives us the opportunity to learn, know the world, and partake in various activities that already go beyond biological functions. However, the complexity of today's societies often makes us forget this notion of how important life is.

The culture in which I developed since I was born led me to understand the concept of valuing life. Here in Paraguay, as in many other countries, people have different visions when it comes to life and its meaning. Although there are a variety of thoughts, I notice that there is a common factor between these thoughts, one that is perfectly reflected in the Paraguayan culture.

Paraguay is a unique country, with infinite qualities, as well as defects. However, what I consider most important about the culture, and what helps when it comes to valuing life, is the kindness of the people, as well as their willingness to provide help to those who need it. Just to give an example, in this country, if at any time a person has the misfortune of suffering an accident in the middle of the road, the people around them will not hesitate for a single second to approach and help the affected person, all in an extremely fast time. This demonstrates the enormous solidarity that people have with each other, which leads us to reflect that, as a culture, Paraguay places enormous value on life, regardless of whether the person is directly affected by a problem.

Another point on which I like to reflect is the perseverance that many people have in this country to achieve their dreams and feel happy with themselves and with society. Here in my country, people always know how to manage to be happy. Regardless of whether a person is going through difficult and painful moments, they always look for a way to find an effective solution to the problem they are facing, and thus move on with their lives.

It is amazing to see how people seek to improve in so many aspects of their lives, every day. The ability people have to fight for each of their personal goals, and the perseverance with which they try to achieve them, is fascinating. In most cases, people have financial limitations, health issues, and lack of resources, among thousands of other problems. However, even with all these obstacles, there are thousands of people who wake up every morning focused on achieving their goals and getting out of the most difficult moments. The optimism and value that people give to their lives motivates me greatly. Paraguayan culture has helped me, above all, to understand that life is simply wonderful, and that it is not good for us to let the difficulties we face make us not give it the value it deserves.

During my life, I have noticed that, as time progresses, people in general do not give enough value to life. Although it may seem so simple, having life is an enormous privilege. A person can lack everything, money, a house, clothes, luxuries, and so many other things; but as long as they are alive, optimism should never be lost. On the contrary, everyone should look ahead with the goal of a better future.

The optimism shown by Paraguayans is the common denominator that allows them to stand out in positive emotions. Values ​​such as solidarity and hospitality generate feelings of security and belonging, because people know that in the event of a problem, they will have the necessary help and the support of their loved ones.

The common factor among most Paraguayans is optimism. That's pretty good, because despite any adversity the person is experiencing, their optimistic spirit helps them to look forward. Optimism and a positive mind are the consequence of the way of seeing or evaluating situations and therefore, by making a positive analysis of events, a person can have positive emotions such as hope, joy, and enthusiasm, among others.

What makes the Paraguayan people different from the people of other countries? Among many reasons, in Paraguay, it is not common to see individualism; people are used to having social contact, to being constantly linked to recreation groups and family members. This promotes positive attitudes that discourage confinement and in turn bring them out of states of frustration or depression. Therefore, it is possible to have positive daily experiences, and this strengthens the optimistic vision of people.

The truth is that life is about facing the hardest moments, fighting the biggest obstacles first, but we must also remember that at the end of the process, there is always a solution for every problem, and the satisfaction of having overcome adversity has no comparison. I am convinced that this is what should encourage us to continue living with the greatest possible optimism and hope, so that in this way we know how to value every minute of our lives.

Elías Viveros is a 17-year-old from Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay. He likes to travel, visit new places, and learn about new cultures. He loves to watch sports, especially tennis. Elías also likes to read articles about science.