And yet it was becoming a legitimate concern. Wedged between a trash can and another student, my back against the cracked plaster wall, I tried to block out the noise of a hundred panicked high schoolers. It wasn’t easy.
Thanks to a combination of various weather patterns and anomalies, the Midwest is being ripped apart by storms this week. Today, I was in the path of several of these storms. Which led to the situation mentioned above.
Luckily, I survived, just as I survived last night’s close call. (Although I only kept my sanity over that long evening by liberal listening to the How To Train Your Dragon soundtrack.) But I easily could not have. And some people didn’t. We see them on the news – just another number in a total that keeps growing as the days go by. We only see the numbers, forgetting that those numbers symbolize people: mothers, fathers, students, children, doctors, librarians… and when the next storm comes, any of us could just as easily have our entire lives crushed into a tally mark. Kind of sobering, isn’t it?
I don’t mean to be a downer. But I just think that next time you see a list of deaths on the television – dehumanized by a nice, sanitary pair or trio of digits – you consider what they really mean. And then the numbers aren’t so friendly anymore.