Numbers

Yesterday my colleagues and I discussed something about the Wuhan outbreak. It was inevitable that the victims, alive or dead, were becoming numbers on a spreadsheet or news items.

Somebody quoted, “It’s said that a human’s death is a tragedy. But collective demise is statistics.”

True, this was an honest quote. But those were human beings. They had lives, dreams, goals, families, lovers, they breathed the same air and trampled on the same earth as we did. The horror in the victims’ face realising what had befallen upon them, the forced grasp of the situation, the fear instilled in the society, and our society as it impacted …

I’d like to quote a Pinterest post: 

We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.

Jonathan Gottschall

A bard, or an ancient term of a storyteller, was a profession as old as the humanity itself. Long before the Sumerians carved symbols on stones, the history was passed on in generations by oral traditions. Humans mattered and societies propagated the stories to feel connected, to teach, to take lessons, and to appreciate others. Bonds were created through stories, as the villagers gathered around the fire. 

Same is true even for the digital era. We still love stories distributed in organised media, on the same vast scale of polar opposites: truth and lies.

With a busy mind,

SL

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