What do you think about stats and data?
Statistics is about collecting, analyzing, interpreting and presenting data. As technology becomes more present in our daily lives, more data is being generated and collected now than ever before in human history. We worry about who is measuring what about us, and what we should be measuring in our own businesses.
“Numbers don’t lie” you may hear people cry. Numbers also can’t be kind and make a difference in someone’s life. Only YOU can do that.
Here’s a stat for you.
100% of all 50 states in the US observed Martin Luther King Day on Monday. (Side fact-it was signed into law in 1983, first celebrated in 1986, and officially observed by all 50 states in 2000). It is the only federal holiday dedicated to honor one single person.
We talk about stats and numbers on MLK day. We do it to measure how things have changed since Dr. King led the charge to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (Conclusion: there is more work to do).
The power of the Martin Luther King Day holiday, however, is how it has evolved into a Day of Service (federally and officially since 1994). His legacy is a call to action for people to go out and have a positive impact on their own communities. “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve,” said King.
You are not a number.
Monday January 17 also would have been my dad’s 91’st birthday–of blessed memory, he passed in 2016. A stranger came to my dad’s Shiva (Jewish version of a wake, but after the funeral and at the family’s house). He said he was looking for Bill Shoss’s children.
He shared that he had spent a good chunk of his childhood in an orphanage and foster care. But he didn’t come with statistics, like “40% of aged out foster children end up homeless.” (Peeples, 2018).
What he said was, “I have a family. I’ve had a stable career. I’m happy.” He share memories, unbeknownst to us, of how our parents volunteered once a month to take him and some of the other kids out to a ball game or for an ice cream. So simple, yet so impactful. “Your dad made a difference. You should know that.”
He was talking about a few hours a month, for a couple of years, over 60 years ago. A life altered. A statistic beaten. That is power.
Your personal, human actions can be transformational.
Data can measure what happened in the past or predict the future. You can make a difference right now, in the present. What’s one thing you can do this week? What’s a kindness or impact you remember that someone did for you?