What Doesn’t Kill You – and What Does

by Stephen Mills on June 26, 2012

Friedrich Nietzsche said what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I’m convinced what doesn’t kill you makes you afraid.  This article is about what doesn’t kill you.  I get so tired of the media inspired hysteria and hype.  We worry about these non-threats due to the availability heuristic of the human brain that comes from dramatic images and stories we see in the media.  We can easily bring to mind examples and it makes our brains think they are common occurrences.

The following numbers are approximations for deaths by various causes in the U.S. in the first decade of the 21st Century.  Don’t get caught up in exact numbers, but consider the magnitudes.  This is 10 years worth of data.

Total U.S. Deaths in First Decade of 21st Century

5 – Shark
500 – Airline Crash
500 – Lightning
500 – Children Abducted and Killed By Stranger
3,000 – Terrorism
210,000 – Homicide
250,000 – Accidental Falls
315,000 – Liver Disease
320,000 – Accidental Poisoning
350,000 – Automobile Accidents
385,000 – Blood Poisoning
480,000 – Other Accidents
525,000 – Kidney Disease
560,000 – Flu or Pneumonia
770,000 – Diabetes
800,000 – Alzheimer’s
1,400,000 – Any Kind of Accidents (included separately above)
1,430,000 – Lung Disease
1,470,000 – Stroke
6,230,000 – Cancer
6,685,000 – Heart Disease

So shark attack, airplanes, stranger danger, and terrorism are all in the same category as being struck by lightning – so remote as to be almost non-existent.  They aren’t even on the chart with everything else.

Some people will say well I’m not worried about my child dying of Alzheimer’s so comparisons to things like that don’t count.  OK, but it isn’t all about your kids, it’s about you too.  But anyway let’s look at kids only.

500 – Abducted and Killed By Stranger

30,000 – Homicide
75,000 – Automobile Accidents
350,000 – Natural Causes

Your child is 700 times more likely to die of disease than stranger abduction.  You should be a lot more worried about them being murdered by someone they know than a stranger in the park.   Every time you put them in the car you are much more likely to kill them.  I’m not saying drop your child off in a dangerous neighborhood at night and let them find their way home by themselves.  I am saying we are worrying about the wrong things.  I read a weird statistic once that probably isn’t correct, but it makes the point regardless.  It was that in order to get your child abducted and killed by a stranger you would have to leave them unsupervised in the park once a week for 750,000 years.

About the only thing on this list I worry about is cancer.  Since I’m about 2,000 times more likely to die of cancer than terrorism and 500 times more likely to die in any kind of accident, I shouldn’t spend one second thinking about terrorism.

I’m 7,000 times more likely to die of one of the top 15 causes of death than I am to die of terrorism.  Every time you shove a French fry down the throat of your kid your are more likely to contribute to their early death than by turning your back on them in the park.  Once again don’t get caught up in these estimates and whether they are exact.  They are illustrations to show relative risks.

What doesn’t kill you is making you afraid and what does kill you is probably being ignored.  If you really want you and your child to be safe, stop eating donuts or those French fries and go play in the park.   If beyond all logic you are afraid of strangers in the park, then you shouldn’t go.  But it’s not because of the stranger it’s because of the much more likely possibility that you will be killed in an accident at the park or on the way to the park than by the stranger.  And don’t stop at MacDonald’s on the way home either.


Get Free Updates to The Rat Race Trap by Email here or via a reader in the top left sidebar.  I would love to have you on board.

If you liked this article and think it might be useful to others please share by clicking the share buttons below:

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Jame E. Coleman June 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm

A very good blog of various systematic criteria that we clarify doubts over life! You’re so cool. Thanks for this.


Derrick June 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Very interesting post. I am curious where death by suicide fits in there? I’ll say, that everyone of those numbers makes you really think.


Leopoldo R. Hawkins July 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Thanks for sharing your article very interesting…


Emma July 5, 2012 at 7:50 am

It’s much easier to consider things like this when there is someone else to blame. I fear Abduction of my child more than I worry about the dangers of natural causes/disease. Its rather odd!
Emma´s last blog post ..My Telemarketing Company


Lisa Hoff August 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Yes, I agree with you Emma.
Lisa Hoff´s last blog post ..Experience the Joys of Sex


Hack My Modern Lifestyle July 5, 2012 at 8:14 am

Hey Stephen,
Thanks for the great post! Agree that what doesn’t kill you makes you afraid. You have stated in the article the probability of one dying of a illness. The figures are indeed significantly higher than man-made mishaps like terrorism and kidnaps. However, I am more mindful of the latter. Why? Because I think that with a healthy lifestyle and positive mindset, the chances of getting illnesses is significantly reduced. But what about kidnap and terror, it can happen ANYTIME and ANYWHERE. There are less precautions we can take against such mishaps in my opinion.
Hack My Modern Lifestyle´s last blog post ..Want to Lose Fats Effectively? Types of Nutrients to Take


Jenny Kier July 11, 2012 at 2:05 am

Thanks for this data. It is good to have an awareness about causes of death of people in the US. I would share this one to other people. Everyday we must need to thank God for giving us new life.
Jenny Kier´s last blog post ..Sex : How to Improve your Sexual Performance


Cheryl Brian July 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

I am actually one of the people who believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger but after going through your stats I have got a whole different perspective about. Thanks a lot for the informative post.
Cheryl Brian´s last blog post ..Khloe Kardashian Still Backing QuickTrim


Vanessa Moore July 12, 2012 at 8:15 am

This data only means that every minute there is a human life loss. So, this post awakes my present state that it is necessary to enjoy the single day that I have on this world. It is important to enjoy life that I have right now.
Vanessa Moore´s last blog post ..Eliminate That Yellow Grin And Get A Bright White Smile


Katleen Quinlan July 20, 2012 at 7:24 am

Millions of people died every minute so this data shows only that it is true. Perhaps, it is a good topic to discuss with.
Katleen Quinlan´s last blog post ..Teeth Whitening Made Easy at Home


Allison Ward August 8, 2012 at 12:42 am

This is very important statistic or data for people must need to know since we people are sometimes so reckless the important of life.
Allison Ward´s last blog post ..Use Male Enhancement Pills and Be Sexually Fulfilled


agame September 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

site plus reports. Nevertheless I’ll often be signing up a person’s feast plus I actually hope so that you can look over a person’s site again.
agame´s last blog post ..Ben10 Race


online games September 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

tskler guzel bır calısma arkadaslar
online games´s last blog post ..Cloud Racing


Ariel Reginald September 20, 2012 at 9:12 am

What a fantastic article about death statistics. Really thanks for brilliant post.
Ariel Reginald´s last blog post ..http://www.maxworkoutsreviewed.net


Taylor September 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Wow! Those are some amazing numbers. It’s sorta sad that so many parents won’t let their kids play freely outside because they fear abduction. But the numbers are so tiny. Also, I didn’t realize the flu killed so many people. 🙁
Taylor´s last blog post ..My Henderson dentist


Ethan Letham October 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm

What a great article of yours about “What doesn’t kill you – and what does”! I think your post is very important to everybody also to me too because its importance. At last I want to say totally I agree with you about your useful sharing.
Ethan Letham´s last blog post ..Kim Kardashian Video


Brian McDougall November 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I must agree that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. This line is even popularized by a song and I can hear it over and over again from the malls, at home, in school – almost everywhere.

-Brian McDougall
Brian McDougall´s last blog post ..brainwave entrainment


Miniclip November 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm


guzel calısma arkadaslar sagolasınız
Miniclip´s last blog post ..Paranormality


Kate hornton January 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

worrying to much will certainly kill you
Kate hornton´s last blog post ..Swatting Kim Kardashian Latest Victim Of PRANK Call


read article January 3, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Howdy, You must have done a fantastic job. Let me absolutely reddit it plus in this check out recommend in order to friends and neighbors. I’m self-confident they shall be took advantage of this web site Internet Blackjack ,.


Www.Bestholdempokersite.Me.Uk January 30, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Eye-catching area of content. I recently found your blog plus accession funds to get which i enter truth loved account ones blog page threads. Anyway I am registering to the for or perhaps My spouse and i achievement you can get the ways to access consistently easily.. Holdem Poker, Holdem Poker Site,Best Holdem Poker Site,


Www.Bestinternetpoker.Co.Uk March 7, 2015 at 9:28 am

Good web page. Lots of useful facts here.. Best Internet Poker , I am transmitting them into a pals ans additionally revealing within delightful. And lastly, thanks a lot with your hard work!


tf2 trading bot strange weapons April 30, 2015 at 9:45 pm

I like the format and video , but I’m not completed testing it however.
UPDATE 1/21/15: 7 wins and two losses so far this week.
tf2 trading bot strange weapons´s last blog post ..tf2 trading bot strange weapons


Ashton May 1, 2015 at 12:46 am

Get the best Fast Weigtht Loss Diet plans here at: Easyy Ways to Fast
Weight Loss at. The only way is a properly planned diet
aand daily exercise. It will bring you remarkable slimming result to do brisk walking, jogging, swimming,
aerobics, annd bicycling.
Ashton´s last blog post ..Ashton


fisher price baby gear product registration card May 1, 2015 at 4:16 am

factory direct furniture of panama city beach, fl is a one of a kind wholesale rental property superstore we are not
a furniture store factory direct furniture. A lot of people
shop department stores alone for children’s clothes simply because
of the quality they offer. Your children should also be aware of pedestrians when using a kids electric scooter.
fisher price baby gear product registration card´s last blog post ..fisher price baby gear product registration card


Drug Rehab counselor May 2, 2015 at 8:31 am

Yes! Finally someone writes about alcohol rehab in utah.
Drug Rehab counselor´s last blog post ..Drug Rehab counselor


selling t-shirts online Tips May 3, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Lost income from outsourcing your T-shirt
printing may be offset by repeat enterprise from happy buyers.
selling t-shirts online Tips´s last blog post ..selling t-shirts online Tips


make t shirts May 4, 2015 at 4:29 pm

of course like your web-site but you have to test the
spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several
of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell
the truth then again I will definitely come again again.
make t shirts´s last blog post ..make t shirts


The Gunman online schauen May 4, 2015 at 9:06 pm

I blog frequently and I truly thank you ffor your content.
The article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your site and
keep checking for neww information about once a week.
I oped in for your Feed too.
The Gunman online schauen´s last blog post ..The Gunman online schauen


Kavinace Ultra PM for Sleep May 6, 2015 at 5:24 am

If you are going for most excellent contents like I do,
simply go to see this web site all the time since it offers feature contents,
Kavinace Ultra PM for Sleep´s last blog post ..Kavinace Ultra PM for Sleep


dag service sundsvall May 6, 2015 at 3:49 pm

bilbolaget service sundsvall
blomster service sundsvall
bilverkstad sundsvall norra järnvägsgatan
toyota service sundsvall

Remember that the larger the down payment, the lower the amount that several be higher
education. When you purchase a vehicle, you are financing the vehicle simply by itself.

service tv sundsvall
pdr service sundsvall
mtd service sundsvall
service cylinda sundsvall
dag service sundsvall´s last blog post ..dag service sundsvall


staples online business card maker May 8, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Becoming skilled and knowledgeable in home based internet
marketing business means committing yourself to continuous learning and adjustment.
Here aree a few companie that will host your list for you:
. I’m gonna bribe youu to click through to my site with a free,
30 minute power packed video oon how to find
a profitable niche to sell to.
staples online business card maker´s last blog post ..staples online business card maker


make money May 9, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Furthermore, it may take several weeks to get undelivered mail back and then you
have to spend some time on removing addresses from customer lists manually.
Email marketing help maintaining an efficient follow-up system
for your business. Are they aware of the procedure for filing for
bankruptcy and to what degree.
make money´s last blog post ..make money


firmativ skincare May 14, 2015 at 4:18 pm

This post is truly a pleasant one it assists new internet
users, who are wishing for blogging.
firmativ skincare´s last blog post ..firmativ skincare


travel May 17, 2015 at 9:49 pm

I blog quite often and I truly thank you for your content.
This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for
new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.
travel´s last blog post ..travel


Dawn Of Titans Hack May 19, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting
a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!
Dawn Of Titans Hack´s last blog post ..Dawn Of Titans Hack


car audio receiver May 20, 2015 at 3:06 am

Most receivers are designed to handle 8 ohm speakers.

Without sacrificing the functionality of the receivers and the convenience of the buyers,
Indashreceivers. This cable unleashes the full power and
performance of the 8400, but for the cost really should occupy an included
space inside the box.
car audio receiver´s last blog post ..car audio receiver


machine a pain lidl May 24, 2015 at 12:06 am

– Dimensions appareil (HxLxP) : 31x37x21cm.
machine a pain lidl´s last blog post ..machine a pain lidl


nitro focus supplement May 27, 2015 at 10:55 pm

Hi there, this weekend is good designed for me, because this
time i am reading this great informative post here at my residence.
nitro focus supplement´s last blog post ..nitro focus supplement


Virtual Casino Online, Virtual Casino June 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Appreciate a few other educational web site.. virtual casino online, virtual casino The place more might I am getting that kind of information and facts developed in this kind of best manner? I own a project that we’re purely at this point implementing, and I’ve recently been with the glance out there with regard to similarly info.


Scooter Us February 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Airwheel Store – Little Orders Online Shop, Hot Offering and much more on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge