The theory of “safety in numbers” proposes the idea that by increasing the population of something, there is less danger of accident or mishap. Numbers strengthen the purpose of the mission or task at hand.
I’ve witnessed truth to this theory in observing traffic conditions, a school of fish, and walking home from school with friends. I’m sure there are exceptions to the theory, but none come to mind.
I am quite perplexed when this theory is practiced by the local hardware store. We shop there only when a quick fix is required (need batteries, sealing tape, emergency road kit). We save our big needs for EPA. It is Costa Rica’s version of Home Depot or Lowes. It is awesome!
Back to the local hardware store: Vargas and Sons. I’m not sure about the number of employees. Some possibilities would be to cut down on theft, fraud, or to provide more job opportunites. Here is how local hardware shopping differs from EPA and the US. On a trip to the local hardware, you peruse the aisle for what you need. Occasionally a store employee may ask if you need assistance. You may accept or decline, find what you need, and proceed to the checkout. You pay for your items, and then you are on your way. This is not so at Vargas and Sons. First, you select what you need, or an employee will take your items up to a staging counter near the center of the store until your shopping is done. That same employee totals your purchases for you, asks if you need anything else, then turns the register screen so you can see the amount you have to pay. He takes your items to another counter near the front of the store while you proceed to a different counter/register to pay for your items. The second employee, the cashier, collects your money and hands you your change and receipt. Finally, you give your receipt to a third employee at another counter who verifies your purchases from the receipt as he bags your items. Then you are free to be on your way.
Throughout Scripture there are instances where God did great things, even performed miracles, when a large number of people were present. There are also times when Jesus went away from the crowds and did great things.
Yes, there was excitement at market day with all the people crowded on a narrow sidewalk and street. It was an experience to “people watch” and observe all the goings on. The trip to the hardware store, while not as adventurous, as market day, also felt relatively safe. But usually when I shop, I prefer lesser numbers.