“A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.” – Joseph Stalin
A meaningful thought from the former dictator of the Soviet Union.
There is truth behind this statement that we can relate to. When we hear about the young girl who was hit by a car down the road, it breaks our heart. Yet the 300 that pass away in a train accident overseas doesn’t seem to have the same immediate effect. As human beings, we do not relate to the many. We relate to the one. We simply cannot connect on an emotional level to something without a specific human story.
The purpose of the quote above is not to shame us, but to bring perspective to something we can take into our daily lives: to treat every individual, as a true individual. Stereotypes are ever easy to adopt. But when we do, we write off individuals… as just another number. A “statistic”.
When we feel the desire to generalize, let’s choose the opposite path. Act for the one.