Life Lessons

More Than a Number

Have you ever felt like you are just one person amongst millions of other people? It’s hard to see ourselves as an individual and how we are significant when we we’re focused on how the odds are against us. This is even harder to do when we feel that we can’t measure up.

Yesterday I heard a speaker talk to the Boys & Girls Club about how he went to jail and what happened after his arrest. Growing up he was told that due to where he lived, his race, and his grades that he would statistically end up in jail. He believed what people told him, got involved with the wrong crowd and participated in armed robberies. By the age of nineteen he was in jail and was no longer a person but an inmate with a number.

The message of his story is that his mind was so focused on how the odds were against him and what people said about his future that he just went along with it. He accepted those messages and didn’t try to change things. Just like this speaker we let numbers, statistics, and odds define what we do and go after.

It’s hard sometimes to see ourselves and our abilities when we feel things are against us, but the numbers and statistics don’t determine what we can do.  We can do extraordinary and impossible things as individuals that posses great talent, and that’s something that numbers can’t determine.

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7 Responses to “More Than a Number”

  1. On November 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm Treehugger responded with... #

    This sounds like the concept of the self fulfilling prophecy. You believe in a concept, and it happens not due to fate because you were unwilling to change or try for a different outcome.

    • On December 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm jenndiva responded with... #

      Exactly! I think that’s the lesson this speaker really got out of his experience. While he was in jail he realized that just because he was told he would go to jail didn’t mean he had to. So once he served his time he turned his life around, and now he sees what his life can be.

  2. On November 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm GG responded with... #

    Amen! My whole mission as a mom is to instill this into my children: believe in yourself and your unique abilities and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve what you want. The only limitations that we have are the ones we place on ourselves.

    I think that the speaker you mentioned is a perfect example of how even when we make the wrong decisions, we can use them to help others. The key is to never accept defeat because there are lessons in everything.

    • On December 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm jenndiva responded with... #

      I’m so happy to hear that you are teaching that lesson to your children. My parents and grandparents repeatedly told me the same thing growing up and it truly helped me. Now I don’t worry about what other people say about my future as much because I’m the one that determines the path I travel.

      The speaker is now a manager or a restaurant that his family owns so he turned his life around. I think that his story also shows that it’s never too late to get your life turned around and on the right track.

  3. On November 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm 25champ responded with... #

    This post is very true…some ppl just except the bad in life and go wit the flow…the more people who can relate 2 their sorrow the more like they will stay in there funk…I wish people realized how uniquely talented we all are..but that just means that there has 2 b more people who are here 2 up lift. Great Post

    • On January 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm jenndiva responded with... #

      I’m glad that you enjoyed this post. Like you said more people need to realize how special they are and see their individual talents. We can’t except what people say about us as facts. Instead we should go after what we know about ourselves and our abilities.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. On November 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm Kimberlee responded with... #

    This post hits home for me. I can truly understand the speakers point of view. If you are continously told that you won’t become anything then you start to believe it. Your confidence level drops or you see people around you in the same situation and you don’t realize that you can do better and be better than what you see. But once you realize that you are better than your circumstances and that there is a purpose to your life, you start to make neccessary arrangements and adjustments to become a better person. No longer bound by what society has you listed as, or even what statistics and your family may say. You are your own person, you can break the cycle that has taken place before you.

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