Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The statistics of strangers

Statistics suggest that today, during my interactions with strangers throughout New York City, I will encounter at least one person who knows they have less than six months to live.

Statistics tell me that today, while riding the subway, I will be within five feet of at least fifteen people who have a close friend or relative who will be dead within a month’s time.

Statistics tell me that today, while walking up Madison Avenue to work, I will pass at least three people with AIDS, three people with cancer and at least twenty people who cannot pay their medical bills from the previous year.

Statistics suggest that today, while eating my lunch at the southeast corner of Central Park, at least sixty people that cross my path will be unemployed, ten will be homeless and twelve will get their food for the week from a food bank.

Statistics suggest that today, while waiting on the platform for my train, at least one person around me will commit suicide within a year, three will come out of the closet to the rejection of their family and ten will have their electricity turned off before the month ends.

But ultimately there is something that these statistics cannot tell me. They cannot tell me that today, without precondition, I have been charged to love my neighbor as myself because within every stranger that I pass there is a life worthy of my respect simply because it is lived.


thankful for you said...


Anonymous said...

With that, let me be the first commenter to wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

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