What’s My Risk Factor?

Let’s face it… when disaster hits, what we want to know is “Could that happen to me?”

When I had breast cancer at age 34, the first question most people asked was “What were your risk factors?”  “None” was not what they were hoping to hear.

When a relative died from a ladder fall, many asked whether he was too old to be on the ladder.  Never mind that the ladder buckled.

When a white woman interning on Capitol Hill is murdered, people are fascinated by the story, probably because of the “It could have been me/my daughter/neighbor” factor.  When a black woman, man or child is killed in S.E., it doesn’t get a 12-part series in the paper. It’s just business as usual.

A recent story in the Washington Post about a young man (the proverbial “honor student”) stockpiling weapons and dastardly written plans referred to his neighborhood as full of “leafy trees.”

In other words, what a shock that something so heinous could be going on inside a house on a street like your own!  Those concrete jungle  streets and alleyways… well, anything goes there… but “that’s not our concern.”

.99 each, bargain price

.99 each, bargain price

Thousands killed in Myanmar equal a dozen Americans, maybe only two Americans if they are children.

I recently heard on the news of a tornado in my daughter’s town.  I quickly thought back to when I had last heard from her.  It had been 12 hours.  I started planning her funeral and trying to remember how she felt about cremation.  Until I listened more closely and realized that the tornado had been 18 hours before.  Whew!  Safe.  At least my people.  And that’s what matters, right?

Human life is cheap.  Unless it’s mine.  Ugh.

~ by Cary on August 7, 2008.

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