Do you want to know the problem with statistics? They are vague. 1 million? My mind can't think of a million anything. 200? Easier, but there are a lot of ways to break down 200 - so the issue remains the ambiguousness of it. I almost always have to find some concrete, tangible, familiar image to attach a statistic to, so that I can comprehend the reality of the information. So, I can relate that statistic to my life, my experience, my realm of reference.
Did you know that our city high school, which is the county seat where I live, had about 200 students in its 2017 graduating class? Imagine, 200 young people full of potential walking across that stage. 200 almost-adults-still-somebody’s-baby, created in the image of their Heavenly Father, full of excitement and accomplishment. Born to change the world, or at least their corner of it. 200 hundred caps, gowns, and diplomas. A multitude of family, friends, and well-wishers there to cheer them on and encourage them.
Want to know what else that number, 200, represents for 2017? Dead people.
That’s right. 200 people died every day in 2017 from addiction. Let that sink in.
About the same number of the graduating class of our city high school. 200 hundred people that were at some dang time in their life bright-eyed and innocent. They laughed, cried, and loved. They were baby sisters and big brothers. They had the world before them. 200 lives born with potential. Some of them had family, friends, and well-wishers. Some had predators and abusers. All of them were created in the image of their Heavenly Father. And they were born to change their world.
What if one of them had the potential to cure Cancer, Alzheimer’s, or Cerebral Palsy? What if they were supposed to take us all to Mars? Or make us weep because of their talent in art or dance?
As a nation, somehow, some way we must talk about this 200. We must fix in our minds the “bigness” of 200 hundred lives. We must not forget that they were not always drug addicts. They were our sons and our daughters. They were our hope.
It is easy to say, not my kid, not my family. Until it is. With statistics like this, how long until it IS someone you love? 200 hundred someones.
Peace and Power in Him,
Director of Neighbor Relations
Coordinator of the Beautiful Chaos that is Pure Joy!!
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