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The Value of a Man – by E.R. Brewster – Pitching Halos

Pitching Halos – by Chaplain E. R. Brewster

from Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet – The Amphibian – 19 January, 1952

How valuable is a man?  We take great delight in recalling scientific calculations which established the value of the human body at a few dollars.  But a person’s real value is something not measured in dollars and cents.

Friendships are formed and buddies become buddies for reasons which can accurately be called spiritual ones.  Life’s values are  really measured in terms such as faithfulness, honesty, likeableness, courage, thoughtfulness.  A person must be useful.  In order for his life to have value he must be useful to others.  Abraham Lincoln was mourned by millions of people of all types and many nationalities because they felt they had lost a personal friend who had done something for them.  The debt which people owe to those who have given their lives in combat is immeasurable.  Jesus put it this way.  “Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Experience proves what Jesus first taught – a life must be lived for others in order for it to have value.  In living for others we also serve God, and bring inward happiness and peace to ourselves.

So many people flounder selfishly through life, grasping frantically for a fleeting moment of greedy but empty satisfaction.  It is these who fritter away the very things for which we fight.  It is these who degrade daily living and rob life of lasting value.  They forget that true happiness is measured by how much we put into life — not by how much we take out.  It is one of the tragedies of war that some of those who so nobly give heroic service should return to these shores and demonstrate base and ignoble principles.

Our God blesses and rewards those who firmly and courageously stand in the full stature of manhood and say, ”  I am interested in the welfare of my buddies and my loved ones.  I am concerned about the value of my life for my country and my God.  I determine to keep faith with those who founded this nation under God and with those who have preserved its greatness by serving His higher purposes.”

True immortality is assured him who obeys the Divine Command, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind.”  This is the first and great commandment.  The second is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”