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The Value of One Life

What motivates people to pick a certain profession? Money, power, fame?

Those exert a powerful pull, to be sure. But once your salary is spent, your influence has waned, and you’ve been dethroned, what remains?

Knowing that you’ve left the world a better place. Sometimes people express it simply as “making a difference.” But how can you know you have?

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Some people are fortunate enough to know they have, no questions asked. A policeman, a fireman, a doctor: they can see the difference, here and now. They can measure it in lives saved. Other people (those of means, anyway) use philanthropy to ensure their bid for immortality. They endow schools, libraries and scientific laboratories.

But what about ordinary people? How can they know?

They often can’t. And even when they do, it’s not easy. Just ask Professor Ellis Fowler. It took a trip to the Twilight Zone for him to find the truth. Read the rest of this entry