It has long been a concern of mine that people have been reduced to numbers and statistics. It has come more to light recently in the debate over the proposed Indianapolis (2014) city budget. I personally admit to not liking numbers, because at times they can be overwhelming to me in the light of some health issues that I struggle with. But since this is not about me, let me get on to what I believe the point is.
The point is that we can make the/our numbers say whatever we want them to say as we nuance them to fit what we are trying to accomplish.
It is disturbing to me that this is often done at the expense of the very people those numbers represent. We have seen one whole new people group being created; *the free and reduced lunch students group and we use our numbers to represent that group, these kids need our help we say and again we nuance our numbers to meet our agendas, saying it is all for them. I am left to wonder how we are truly serving that people group.
One wonders how any work can get done at all in a political arena that functions under these conditions, instead of serving people we are serving groups/numbers, and most everyone seems to have their favorite. We have depersonalized a process which was never meant to be depersonalized. We have made it about different groups/numbers and not about the overall community, and in this process we have destroyed any real sense of community; a community which is both God ordained and constituted in the founding documents of our republic. We all are a people created for community, but that very community is being destroyed through a political process of number manipulation; people have been conditioned to believe that they are all different and that they cannot exist outside of their own people group (and some have been lumped into several different groups so that any sense of identity has been lost). Their only hope is that someone will be there to fight for them, let us fight for you they have been told and in the end they relinquish the power to fight for themselves. This ultimately leads to a cycle of perpetual hopelessness, destroying communities and neighborhoods. It is at point that the tables are truly turned over on them, they are told that if you would only come together as a community or neighborhood we will come to your aid. But they have no knowledge, ability, power or resources to do so, and so we abandon them on this island of despair that we have created for them. Numbers never lie they have been told and you just don’t have the numbers. But we are more than numbers they pleadingly say and their cry falls on deaf ears, until the time comes again when their number might be needed.
*any people group and comments on that group can be included here