“Greater love hath no man than this, that man lay down his life for his friends”. This is a famous quote written in the BIble (John 15:13). Wouldn’t many of us agree? A friend is in mortal danger. You can save him but it will most certainly result in your death. Nearly all of us would it, without a moment’s hesitation.
I disagree with the quote. It is very easy to die for a friend. Most of us wouldn’t give it a second thought. But how much more harder is it to die for a total stranger? Someone who you’ve never known, probably never will, and who might never influence your life. Would you still die for him/her? I thought not. Most of us would weigh the possible good it could do before we put our life on the line, myself included. It’s not easy to casually throw away your life for someone you’ve never known. Some are born with an aptitude to offer their lives for others without a second thought. Others, not so.
This is where our ‘humanity’ inside us comes into play. I’m not going to advocate for complete selflessness, because it’s practically not possible. Even the most generous person is bound to be a little selfish in some aspect or the other. You cannot just throw your family’s life into chaos to save a stranger’s family from the same fate. However we can try to exhaust every other option before we resort to something drastic.
Think of a soldier. Before they join the Army/Navy/Air Force, they are made aware that they might never see their family again. The families are made aware that they may never see their son/daughter alive again. This grief is buried under ‘patriotism for the country’. But that does not make it any easier to bear. The soldiers know that, instead of risking their lives for more than a million strangers, they can leave and lead a normal, safe life. But they believe in the saying “The needs of the many far outweigh the needs of the few”. The life of an individual does not matter when compared to the lives of the people of a country.
It is most definitely illogical to casually throw away one’s life, be it for a friend or a stranger. I believe that everyone in the world has a purpose in life to fulfill and that they musn’t leave before it’s done. Granted, one does not know what one’s purpose in life is. But we wouldn’t leave the world before it’s done. So that rules out unnecessarily risking your life and suicide. However, if someone is about to die and you have exhausted every option available, then and only then should you sacrifice your life to save another’s life.