Worldometers.info is an extremely easy-to-navigate web site.
On one page, one can watch “real time world statistics” on all classes of information. For example, as I write this at 10:12 in the morning 83,036,521,929 emails had already been sent TODAY. (Incidentally, in the time it took me to type that last sentence, the total increased by more than 210 million.)
A smattering of other attention-grabbing statistics:
- There are 2,908,626,597 internet users in the world (growing rapidly)
- 288,076 new books have been published so far this year (My future daughter-in-law accounts for one of those!)
- There have been 1,683,340,798 Google searches so far today (three of which were mine)
I was fascinated to discover that are about 1.5 billion overweight and 529 million obese folks on the planet compared to 894 million undernourished. (it appears if we could move some of our food from the “haves” to the “have nots,” it would benefit all.) Relatedly, obesity has cost the United States economy over 245 million dollars today alone and approximately 86.5 million dollars have been shelled out on weight loss programs in that same period.
If you’re into stats, the site will suck you in like a vacuum cleaner on steroids.
Our planet is crowded – and growing more at a net rate of about 2.2 people per second (4.1 born and 1.9 die). As of February 12, 2014 we share our planet with 7,212,822,888 other individuals. Using those same numbers, approximately 361,000 will inhale their first breath today while sadly,173,500 will take their last.
Not one of those souls is more important than any other.
Abhaya’s family in India will grieve as deeply over her loss as will Monica’s children in California. Having said that, some names reach a stratospheric level of recognition in their time here; one of which was Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a gifted actor by any measure.
What shocked so many people, including myself, was not the sudden and tragic loss of an A-class actor at a young age, but the circumstances surrounding his demise. Allegedly found with a heroin needle still in his arm, he had relapsed after over two decades of sobriety.
Drug addiction should be treated, not punished.
It’s a disease, and like any chronic ailment such as diabetes or asthma, it can recur when treatment stops. Mr. Hoffman is terrible, undeniable proof of that.
Each of us battles our own hidden terrors, usually in private, locked in the dark recesses of our thoughts. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not, because once exposed to the sunlight of public awareness, we either go big or go home. Secrecy, guilt, and shame feed the addiction.
Fortunately, most of us fight lesser demons than heroin and in a much smaller spotlight.
I have seen many beat back their (small-“A”) addiction to eating repeatedly, only to have it return. (Lord knows, I’ve done it myself.) Infused with hubris, we make the blunder of thinking we’re “cured” and can “do it on our own.” Armed with the false comfort of invincibility, we cease engaging in the behaviors that helped us get healthy in the first place. Old habits never die and we never “win the war.” As I stated in my first book, The Shade of a Tree is the Very Best Shade There Is,
“Addictions start quietly and without notice. Don’t be paranoid about them – but do be vigilant.”
Awareness is not always easy, but neither is becoming a statistic.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a nationally known weight loss expert for baby boomers and the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com. Get his free ebook of motivational quotations and one year of his highly-popular Monday Motivational Memos at no charge by following this link. He is also available for coaching and speaking.