People use statistics to validate or affirm a point. But, they are also used to give excuses, in my perspective. Growing up I have experienced this a lot. People are surprised by me sometimes because of these statistics.
People expect that I come from a dual parent home, because how well behaved and kind I am. But since I was raised by just my mom, the statistics say I’m 7 times more expected to have a kid before the age of 18 than someone who has had both parents present in their life.
Statistically, I should not have been a high school graduate because 71% of us don’t graduate.
My whole life I felt like I had to beat the statistic. As a middle schooler or even in high school, that is a lot of pressure to have. Constantly worrying about what you do so nobody thinks of you any less because of a decision someone else made.
Instead of someone being proud of your accomplishments because of you as a person they are proud because you ‘beat the odds’.
I know that the lack of a father’s influence in a child’s life is hard. It is. You go through some different emotions. But, that doesn’t mean you can go get wasted on Friday nights or rob a store or do anything other than your best.
Statistics are used as an excuse for someone to do the wrong thing and it be OK. But, if I lived in a dual parent household it would be totally taboo for me to get pregnant and that is not OK.
It would not be OK for me to drop out of high school if my father was in the picture and even with him not in the picture. Getting pregnant out of wedlock would not be OK because God made sex for a husband and a wife, whether I was a child of married parents or just my mother.
My choices are my own. My mom, family and God have influenced my choices. But, I chose to do and chose to not do something because I know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. The lack of paternal influence in my everyday life does not make it OK for me to steal or end up jail or become a whore.
We should not, as a society, place a value on someone based on a statistic or a circumstance. Statistics are excuses.
I should be held to the same standard and expectation as any other individual no matter what the statistic says. I should not gain pity because a statistic says I should suck.
I am the happy, goal driven individual despite the statistic. The statstics don’t define me and they don’t limit me.