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Should Stats Trump Caring About People

· Thoughts

I always am so fascinated with how people respond in certain situations… any situation really.

I love looking at all the bits and pieces and seeing how they all interact together. Perhaps that is why I was always more fond of sociology than phycology at University. My brain functions best with understanding the impact of one thing on another and another and another.

This situation in particular, was in response to my Facebook post where I sent thoughts and love out to those impacted by the events in Vegas.

A gentleman’s response was to post a photo of a book. From what I could tell when I clicked on the link was that it was a book about how we live in the least violent times of all of human existence.


He posted nothing else but that link.

My response was

I am sure he [the author] is right but not sure that is comforting to those affected by something like this. Perhaps violence as a whole is down but are acts like this? Pretty sure they weren’t happening in the 1800’s. We are possibly past our barbaric stage of humanity but we are certainly not past our violence

His response

Thank you. Being right > being comforting. Why do the facts matter? What matters to me is that we’re living in the safest, most prosperous time in history. A few evil/troubled guys lash out randomly and violently. Terrible, but nothing near as bad as the past.

My response

that’s great that that is what matters to you.

For the remainder of the day my thoughts drifted back to this interaction. Is he saying that it’s ok what happened because there is less violence and more prosperity in the world?

I can’t help but wonder if he would have felt this way if it were his brother who did the shooting, his sister who was shot and killed or his friend who was trampled.

I couldn’t help but wonder what went into the decision to post such a unfeeling remark. Is he a terrible person? Probably not. Is he cruel? Probably not. Insensitive? Perhaps.

Is this how people in power manage to send bombs to other countries? By telling themselves they are making choices based on facts? What if we started making choices based on people?

Why do we let the “facts” stop us from being compassionate? Can we not address the facts and still express sorrow for the reality of the moment? Are they mutually exclusive?

Are we only able to suspend our compassion when we are less impacted? Do we expect more compassion when we are the one impacted?

Are we so desensitized to things that tragedy has become passé? Have real life people just become characters on a tv show we call life? Have we gotten to a point that when we see the news our brain just treats it like a cop drama series and not real life, just entertainment?

How do we change this? And we must change this because no one should have to be blindsided by an attack like that. No one should feel like shooting into a crowd of people is an appropriate choice. No one should have to be left in the wake explaining why a family member chose to behave this way. And no one should think posting a remark like that on facebook, one that diminishes the pain of real live people, is an appropriate response.

Yet here we are.

We are all responsible for the consequences of our actions. Is it not time we get better at being more aware, better at decision making? After all it is up to us to make this world better, not our neighbor, not our politicians but you and me.

I am a cause and effect strategist. Contact me if you want to talk further about decision making and the domino effect of our choices.

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