Readers know I care about my health (diet, exercise, etc.) – and I’m sure you care about your health as well – so I want to discuss some numbers about health.
Odds of 1-in-150 vs. 1-in-6,000,000. Which has a higher likelihood of happening? The 1-in-150, of course.
What of those were odds of something bad – like contracting a terminal illness – happening to you? I reckon you’d prefer the 1-in-6,000,000 odds. Since we don’t have much choice if something bad happens to us or not, we have a pretty good chance of that 1-in-150 bad thing happening to us, yes?
What if I told you you could improve those odds with some simple changes in your life?
I’m sure you do things like this. Eating less fat, or minding your salt and sugar intake. Adding daily exercise. Maybe you look for GMO-free food, or make sure your plastics are BPA-free. And it’s not just food, but habits such as buckling your seat-belt when you get into a car, or looking both ways before crossing the street.
We seem to accept there are risks and dangers in the world, that we can’t fully escape them, but obviously we can make some changes in our lives that improve our odds of living a long and healthy life.
Look at what we teach kids. We teach them about “stranger danger”, and how to stay safe in a storm so they don’t get struck by lightning. Learning such safety precautions is an accepted part of our culture and society, because again we want ourselves and our loved-ones to live long and healthy lives.
Did you know that the average number of people killed in the US by lightning strkes each year is 51? With 310 million people in the US, that’s odds of 1-in-6,000,000 of dying from a lightning strike. A rare ocurrence indeed, and no one is considered paranoid for taking precautions against such a rare event.
According to FBI statistics, there are over 6 million violent crimes in the US each year. There are over 2 million where your life is literally at stake (armed robbery, aggravated assault, forcible rape, homicide). With 310 million people in the US…
That’s odds of 1-in-150 of you being a victim of a violent crime, that could leave you crippled for life or dead.
It’s not a “one in a million” chance of being a victim — it’s 1-in-150. It’s a 1-in-50 chance of being a victim of general violent crime. In fact, those odds are probably conservative because not all violent crimes are reported, so the real odds are likely greater.
Let that sink in.
You have a high likelihood of being the victim of a violent crime. I know you care about your health and well-being. Being alive, not being in pain and crippled for life because someone decided to shoot you for your iPhone – well, I think “being alive” is a fundamental component of being in good health.
Of all the unfair and undesirable things one can die from in this world, being a victim of a violent crime is pretty high up there. Please stop thinking it cannot happen to you, that crime only happens to other people (because to everyone else in the world, YOU are “other people”). The chances of you being the victim of a violent crime is pretty high, so once you start being honest with yourself about this fact and accept the reality of it, the next question is: what steps are you taking to do something about it?
(h/t to Tom Givens; listening to his interview on Ballistic Radio Season 2, Episode 87, 2014-11-23 provided the inspiration for this article. If you’ve never heard Tom speak, or even if you have, I highly recommend taking 30 minutes and listening to this interview. Tom has the wisdom and experience, and I can think of no one more authoritative and well-spoken on the subject matter.).