Why Millions Can Die and We Don’t Care: Is Being Numb Really Comfortable? "One death is a tragedy. One million is a statistic."
~ Joseph Stalin
In an article posted by Psychology Today on August 15, 2011 entitled: "Statistical Numbing: Why Millions Can Die and We Don't Care,"
the author David Ropeik reveals the point of how we as humanity tend to consider and place our attention more towards singular beings in need of assistance, rather than considering the assistance that is required for mass amount of beings - or one could say: "the whole."
The way in which Ropeik goes about revealing this finding was by first, at the beginning of the article, relaying a personal story of four year-old Khafra who lay in a refugee camp hospital on the brink of death due to starvation and extreme malnourishment. Ropeik expresses how Khafra's mother is "helpless, sad beyond comprehension, but herself too malnourished to cry."
He then goes on to disclose startling statistics in relation to the famine in the Horn of Africa as a whole, which: "has left more than 12 million people malnourished, including half of Somalia's population. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are starving, and more than 29,000 children in southern Somalia have starved to death in the last 90 days."
After this he states: "Which of those two paragraphs was more emotionally powerful? It should have been the second, shouldn't it, based on the scale of the suffering, 640,000 starving kids to one? But the first paragraph almost certainly carried more emotional punch."
This is a relevant point to take a look at. Ropeik proceeds to provide further evidence, revealed through experimentation, that we as humanity fail time and time again to consider the "big picture," but instead give less when more are involved to consider. As Ropeik states: "This statistical numbing begins at anything more than ONE!"
Exposing how we've created a point where we become "less empathetic" (as if that even exists) when we're in a situation where we must stand in more than ONE beings' shoes. Well, newsflash! Unless we can stand in the shoes of EVERY SINGLE BEING IN THIS ENTIRE WORLD, we're fucked. Plain and simple people. Plain and simple.
That's precisely why I placed "less empathetic" in quotes, because if we find a reason to not give to another as we would like to receive, and by "giving to another" I mean ANY OTHER, not just that one picture of a starving child, or that ONE you "want" to "help" while excluding others - if we find ONE reason - we are being deliberately abusive, as we are deliberately finding justifications and excuses to not stand for ALL that is here, as ourselves.
Clearly Ropeik shows how we've allowed ourselves to be directed by our limited emotions, instead of what is actually here in the entirety of this ONE reality we ALL share together; where each and every breath we breathe is counted, accumulated, and has manifests consequences - here - in this ONE reality, wherein not just ONE is affected, but...the whole.
So, if we miss being here for ONE breath in order to participating in the emotional reactions of our limited mind, we're not here in this ONE reality to make practical decisions based on what is Best for All, thus we disregard Life, and what becomes manifest as consequence?
Look around. Look in a newspaper. Look at the news. Look out your front fucking door. Most importantly though, look inside yourself - that is where the answer to every question can be dis-covered, and it ain't pretty.
And when I state: Look in a newspaper. Look in the news. - Realize: "Statistical numbing plays a huge role in what the news media covers, and what it doesn't, since the media are in the business of bringing us information we are likely to pay attention to, and our attention is less drawn to numbers than stories about individual people (which explains the success of the narrative device of weaving stories about big issues around a personal example). Less coverage means less concern, because we certainly can't be moved by these tragedies if we don't know much about them. And public concern drives government policy, so statistical numbing helps explain why nations so often fail to expend their resources to save people elsewhere who are starving, or dying of disease, or being raped and murdered, in the tens and hundreds of thousands."
Everything is specific.
If we find ONE single reason to not stand for a system that will ensure dignity for ALL, that is an abomination to the fullest degree. As it's not about charity, that's abundantly clear if one dares to be self-honest, but about creating a sy stem where Life reins - not money, not emotions, not greed, complacency, and apathy - no: LIFE, and that's it.
So, we go about playing "helper" for a single being all because we've numbed ourselves to "the whole" that is ripping at the seams. Thus, trying to sew up one individual patch of the entire fabric of existence will NOT and CANNOT stop the entire fabric from bursting, as it's the ENTIRE FABRIC that requires to be re-sewn; re-sewn as in: an entire new fabric must be woven; woven with threads that are stable, secure, and made to last the test of time, as they are created by/through solid principles which consider and honor All Life Equally.
Being numb is not comfortable. No . We've simply "trained" ourselves to be comfortable with our discomfort; with the discomfort that we experience whenever we do, for a fleeting moment, consider what we're actually experiencing within ourselves, or consider "the whole" - wherein we then immediately retreat back to the perceived "safety" of our mind, where we've learned and been conditioned to suppress, escape, extinguish, sabotage, and trample any possible ability to love our neighbor as ourselves within the realization that our neighbor IS ourselves, as what happens to our neighbor could happen to ourselves, and what is happening to our neighbor IS happening to ourselves, we've just become too comatose and stupefied too see this, thus we believe ourselves to be immune. NOTE: We cannot be immune when we ARE the dis-ease.
Time to dare ourselves to care, and to stop allowing ourselves to be directed by emotions, as they are only revealing the fear we accept as ourselves, the fear of "who we are" as what we have become - as individuals, as human beings - numb to the statistics which reveal the truth of ourselves, as the accumulated abuse we participate in on a moment to moment basis, which is indeed bursting at the seams - this entire fabrication...is about to blow.
Who will you be when it inevitably does?
Will you be here? Breathing as Life? Loving thy neighbor as thyself?
Or will you still be trapped in the confines of your mind? Believing yourself to BE your emotions?http://www.equalmoney.org
Source: Ropeik, David. "Statistical Numbing: Why Millions Can Die and We Don’t Care." Psychology Today 15 August 2011: 1. Web. 19 Aug 2011. .