You know how when someone puts a tiny baby into your arms, you instantly love it, or at least charmed by its utter baby-ish-ness? Why is that? What is it that we are loving? The baby hasn't done anything. It hasn't earned any grades or money. It hasn't gone to medical school. It hasn't saved any lives or ran for political office. At that point, the baby really hasn't done anything except doing what babies do. It is a tiny lake of consciousness unaware of itself.
So what value does it have? What is that spark of something in that baby that we value? Why does nobody ever say, "I hate this baby because it won't pull its financial weight by working at McDonalds!". The baby is PURE value, inherent value. It has value just because it does! It has potential, like a coiled spring waiting to be unhitched. You never know what it can do, and you may never. It is a mystery.... a tiny infinity. In that sense, the baby is a little window into the deep underlying ocean of the unseen part of the Universe, which has unfathomable value.
This begs a question: at what age does this value disappear? 6 months? When, as Bill Cosby put it, it gets to "the age when God puts odor in its poo"? Upon entrance to kindergarten? Whatever your answer, I ask you what exactly is it about that age which makes you say this value has receded, and that this person who was once a baby no longer has value or as much value as that infant did? Why?
I think the answer is no age. I realize now that this value never leaves. I still have it. So do you. Inside, we are all still a lot like those little babies were. We don't need anyone to believe that or tell us that. It just is. Moreover, it's true whether we earn a million bucks a year, or whether we sit on our asses work at nothing all day. The mightiest business mogul and the most destitute quadriplegic have the same connection to that endless pool of inherent value. One of these people has more money and power and influence, but both were cute little infants once who had not done anything yet, and neither deserve less inherent human value.
The things we do and the money we earn are trappings, much like the jewelry that hang from the neck of a Princess or Priest. They make us look shiny, and yes, some of us are much shinier than others, but it's a false shine. Some have trappings of evil and hatred, but they are still just the trappings, not the body beneath. It is the exact opposite of putting lipstick on a pig. You can put mud on it, but it's still beautiful. You can hang a price tag on it, but it's still priceless.