Nobody ever wants to be “just a number.” We want to have a face. And a voice. We want to be known and heard and seen and understood.
And yet, each of us (and our situations) can easily be turned into “just a number” as we become 1 in a sea of many. In other words, a statistic.
Let’s face it, we’re all statistics.
Some of my more joyful statistics: 11.7% of US women have given birth to three children; 56.7% of US women participate in the labor force; 44% of US households have a dog; 42.3% of the US population has achieved an Associate’s Degree or more; about 2% of the US population is adopted.
Others, I wish I could change: 67% of parents with young children admit to yelling for discipline; 25.5% of US families are maintained by a mother; 1 in 3 woman will experience domestic violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime; 16.9 divorces for every 1,000 married women; about 43% of US adults have been exposed to alcoholism in the family.
Statistics, in my opinion, are labels through numbers…and I’ve never been a big fan of labels because labels have a tendency of stripping away part of our identity. However, I can’t ignore these numeric labels in my life. In fact, ignoring them completely would just be plain irresponsible. I must embrace awareness to break patterns and to help to ensure my children can identify with more positive statistics.
So, here’s to being a statistic. Here’s to being aware and educated. Here’s to acknowledging unpleasant things that I don’t always want to talk about. Here’s to having really awkward conversations with my teenager about things no parent ever wants to talk about with their teen (we do it, but we really don’t want to). Here’s to accepting ourselves where we are today. And, here’s to being me…the good, the bad and the ugly.