I listened to This American Life this weekend and it talked about people who quantify things that should never be quantified, such as their love lives, the perfect song, and every daily task. One of the lessons of the show (I hate to give it away) was that quantifying deep experiences prevents us from feeling the depth...It glazes over them. This morning I was walking to work and I started thinking about some of the numbers in my life that prevent me from engaging in the depth behind them.
And I remembered that 25,000 children die every day from poverty-related causes.
Even though I have quoted this statistic over and over again, I questioned it. I began to think deeply about one person dying from the preventable cause of poverty. It was so painful for me, that I thought, "There is no way that 25,000 children die from poverty-related causes EVERY DAY." But it's true. That is 25,000 sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, orphans---25,000 children---who are starving to death, or dying of dehydration, or dying from malnutrition...It is heartbreaking. And yet we deal with this terrible reality mostly by ignoring it. It is too painful to think about the sheer number of children dying and when we think about each of those people being a real person just like the children that we know, it is absolutely overwhelming.
But I think it is important. It is important that we know the stories of some of the poorest people in the world. It helps us to connect with them and to understand them better. It also helps us to advocate for them with political leaders, our friends and family, and even our money. So check out the story of Magdalena, a girl in the Dominican Republic who has found hope through education. And Dariana's quest to have fruit in her village in Bolivia. And then read the story of Baha, a 16 year old boy living through the Gaza Crisis.