But to a person hanging on to their last days of life, even if they have never contributed anything “great” and may even have been a criminal, their life is very valuable to them. You could also ask yourself, was the life of Napoleon more valuable than the life of my mother?” That kind of question can’t be answered because then you have to ask, “valuable to whom?” The presence of my mother has more value than the contributions of shadowy historical figures.
Napoleon was a great leader, although many died gruesomely because of his decisions. My mother may have be an all-around good person but did no more than impact my family and a small part of the community. Yet her life is more “valuable” to me than Napoleon, whom I never met.
Perhaps the question is, “What is your life is worth to you?” If you are unhappy with yourself on a number of levels, or hate yourself, then your life’s value is not worth much, to you. Many talented artists have committed suicide because their felt their lives had no value to them. And then again, if you are a suicide bomber or a kamikaze pilot, your value to yourself is in giving up your life.
Everyone must look within and ask what constitutes valuable life for them. Religions simplify this for many and assign our lives value as a means to an end, such as salvation, the glory of God, etc. But life is an end in itself, like a fascinating journey. It’s not about getting to the end to assess our value, but it is the experience itself that is its meaning.