Do you feel crushed under the weight of that statement?
Statistics can be alarming. But much like the alarm that wakes you up in the morning – it might make you move initially – but you won’t think about it until you hear it again tomorrow. And for a moment we might drop our jaws and gasp in disbelief. But do they motivate action?
I read something interesting today – for a statistic to even impact a person we must first assume the writer and the audience hold the same values. For instance – if I don’t believe in the common worth of humanity… then I may not care that a billion people are illiterate… as long as it’s not me. But If I truly believe in our equality in Christ… this fact is rather sad. In the latter example – I have made the illiterate my brothers, sisters, and best friends.
People have about as many beliefs on the causes of poverty as I do shoes in my closet. (there are a lot – don’t judge me) And poverty looks different all over the world, it affects people differently, it’s defined differently. And often times we find ourselves grateful for the blessings in our own lives and send up a praise to God for all that we have. We develop an almost “better them than me” attitude or a hopelessness in attacking an issue that seems endless and overwhelming.
So how do we move past a statistic, a brief impact, and ignite compassion… action?