It was just an old watch.

That’s what one man thought when he decided to have his Rolex appraised by the experts at Antiques Roadshow. The man, identified only as “David,” had bought the watch in 1974 for $345. He’d worn it just a few times in all those years and didn’t believe it had increased much in value. Boy, was he wrong.

The appraiser surprised David by telling him that the watch was worth at least $200,000. In addition, the timepiece was also a special edition, similar to one owned by legendary actor Paul Newman. That boosted the watch’s value to over $400,000. Then the appraiser said the watch was in nearly perfect condition, which shot the watch’s value to nearly $700,000.

When I hear stories like that, it reminds me of a core belief that has guided our nation for over two centuries: the value of something is often deeper than what you can see at first glance. That’s true for a watch. A painting. Even humanity.

Our Declaration of Independence openly declares the profound worth of every human being. People don’t deserve dignity because they’re a certain height, shape, or color. And they shouldn’t be denied dignity because they’re too young or old, yet to be born, or severely disabled in need of constant care. Our worth and value are woven into our DNA. Human life is sacred simply because – as the Declaration reads – it’s endowed to us by our Creator.

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