One of my jobs this summer is an internship with SON Ministries in Hilliard, Ohio where we hold a summer camp for children from low income families that provides a free lunch among other things. This is the 10th summer for this camp and thousands of meals have been served through the years. As part of our training, the executive director for the organization provided an overview of the camp’s past success so that we would understand the expectations for this year. The point of me explaining this is because she said something that made me think. Instead of just saying “We have served 72,866 meals since 2007.”, she said “We have served 72,866 meals to humans with faces since 2007.” It sounded strange to me. Obviously humans have faces. However the reason she said this was because we hear statistics every day of our lives. They start to lose their shock value and their impact on our thoughts after awhile. If we think about 72,866 meals, we think that’s a lot of food. But if we think about who that food is feeding, it’s different. Each child that receives that meal is a human being with unique characteristics, an individual personality, personal interests, talents, strengths, and feelings. They are living and breathing and they are more than a statistic. The amount of children we feed is impressive, but more so is the amount of young humans we have the privilege of building relationships with through serving them food.
This is so important. Because we forget. We forget that each person we come into contact with is a human being with a perspective of the world as unique as our own. The world is filled with 7 billion people, it’s easy to forget. I see people forgetting all of the time. This a problem because when a person is continuously treated as if they are unworthy of being treated as a human being, then they begin to believe it.
So that person that messed up your order, they’re a human. The person who pulled out in front of you without a turn signal, they’re a human. A human with a face. A living, breathing life as valuable as any other. So treat them as such.