Posted by: keepfishing | March 9, 2007

At least dogs love us.

This week I realised I don’t like people. Now it may be just that I’m a grumpy cynic (I can almost hear the dissident cries of “No, Alasdair, you’re a great big ray of bubbly sunshine all the time!”), but this society depresses me.

Leaving aside all the sociological stuff about broken families (The Scotsman’s front page today ran an article on how divorce rates have risen 19% and nearly 50% of kids are born outside of marriage), failing schools and a TV generation, I don’t think people like each other anymore. It’s not just me. People don’t seem to like anyone else.

The two things that have stimulated this thought process: On Wednesday I went to see The Good Shepherd. This is a LONG film. Not as long as Lord of the Rings, but definately less entertaining. It just seemed that nobody could take this kind of tedium or bum ache – the couple next to us talked all the way through, and a girl in front even had a phone conversation 20 minutes before the end (ok, it was whispered, but I could hear the guy talking on the other end). So the point I’m driving at is that none of these people had any care for anyone else.

And today, I was having a retreat day and went up Blackford Hill to pray and read the Bible. There were a lot of dog walkers around and for some reason (it must be my bubbly sunshiny character) a decided to smile at everyone I walked past. Not one person returned it.

So I’m losing the thrust of this, and because I can’t be bothered to proof it and re-edit, I’ll summarize. This society is depressing: people are inward looking and largely have little respect for the rest of the community outside their friendship group. David Cameron reckons the breakdown of family values is to blame. I’m inclined to agree. Maybe I’ll vote for him this time.



  1. Get over it!

    Seriously though… you should read this book I just found. It talks about the news and satistics and makes the point that these days it’s impossible to know what is going on. So much is reported that we can’t possibly keep track and yet it is still a small percentage of what is going on in the world. For all we know the world could be better than it was a hundred years ago…. but that wouldn’t sell papers or make us watch television.

  2. p.s or a Jimmy would say: ‘Embrace the grace!’

  3. But we can still judge what’s going on a little from our experience. I’m not trying to heal the world, I just want people to be a little nicer to each other. Is a smile and a little respect for others in the cinema too much to ask??

  4. “No Alasdair, you’re a great big ray of bubbly sunshine all the time!”

    ha ha ha.

    I agree that we’re more and more self-centred people that don’t really even think about the people around us. Maybe this is where we’re called to be salt – to slow down the decay of society by smiling at those dog-walkers, even when they don’t smile back. (in contrast, when I went for a jog this week, everyone I smiled at smiled back or said hi…so maybe it’s just you after all.)

  5. I think you made some good observations.

    I don’t think it is altogether NEW necessarily…. selfishness has been here since sin came about. I think it just looks different. I think we feel and see the loneliness and isolation of the selfish lives we lead more often and more clearly now.. yet everyone seems more and more in the dark about what the symptoms are and are left with no solution to the problem.. it is like blind people stumbling in the dark trying to grasp something.. something seems off and like life shouldn’t be that way.. but no one has told them they are blind and no one knows what it is like to see..

    Selfish.. unkind.. selfabsorbed people.. it starts with one.. How will you be the difference this world doesn’t have?

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