Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Know why our society is doomed? Collectively, we lack empathy for one another.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:06 PM
Original message
Know why our society is doomed? Collectively, we lack empathy for one another.
Yes, there are exceptions. But largely, generally, we just don't give a shit about what happens to our fellow Americans (much less humans from elsewhere in the world) anymore.

You can see it in the news. You can see it every day at work or in the market or at Walmart or what have you. You can see it on Jet Blue flights, from both passengers and crew. Americans just don't care about one another anymore.

You even, sometimes, see it here on DU.

Don't cite the exceptions to me. Remember that exceptions only prove the rule.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. and we seem to give even less of a shit about the non-human world...
so, yeah, a little wake-up "reckoning" lays ahead, I fear...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Good point. We're all inter-connected.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. it is hell being someone who cares, in this environment
today I donated platelets - a blood product for cancer patients - 100 minutes with a needle stuck in my arm, then I mailed a package of hygiene items to soldiers on an FOB in Afghanistan with no PX. I do not know the people I help. To live in a world where it seems most people just don't give a shit - I feel like I live in Bizarro World.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Indeed. I frequently have to fight my instincts to just give up.
And I'm a social worker, so that would be bad!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
30. Fellow Social Worker
Tell me about it! My urge to give up usually only lasts until the next bureaucrat pisses me off. Other times I sit at meetings and hear such delusional nonsense I wonder if I'm having an acid flashback.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
foxfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #30
51. Another fellow Social Worker.
You speak the truth. I've finally retired, so I don't have to choke a bureaucrat or two just to get through the day. Nonetheless, my instinct to help is expressed in other ways nowadays. I just don't get people who don't care about their fellow beings-- human or non-human.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
StatGirl Donating Member (263 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Thank you for donating!
Two months ago, I was in the hospital and desperately needed blood due to internal bleeding. Thanks to four selfless individuals like you, it was available. (Yes, I realize you donated platelets, which is even harder, but it's the same concept!)

I wish there were some way of thanking them personally, but I can't, so I will thank you. Someone like you helped save my life.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. close to 40 gallons!
I am a human pin cushion! :D
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. WORSE: It's all the Appearance of Caring without the Substance. This makes it Manipulation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. It's cool to be cruel. The right wing media has made it OK to be selfish,
telling their listeners/ viewers that they should be ANGRY that their tax dollars are going to help the hungry the uninsured, the homeless, etc. Hell, Glenn Beck is even stating that it's CHRISTIAN to expect people to fend for themselves, pull themselves up by their bootstraps. And people that find themselves in such dire circumstances surely deserve it because they are lazy, don't want to work, were irresponsible. Empathy is for suckers! Life has become a pathetic reality show. Vote that unemployed guy and his family OFF the island.


It is a sad country in which selfishness and indifference are glorified.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
7. You've nailed it.
Booze, rage and justice in the participation age

It is now clear to me that the people's rage is a tool in the hands of the new electronic and digital corporate state. Its various channels, eddies and pools, regardless of type, can be directed toward all sorts of mischief and profit. Left or right, the angry throngs on both sides can be managed and directed. They can be sent chasing various injustices, denouncing evil characters on Wall Street, Times Square bombers, BP executives, or whatever, worked up into slobbering outrage over Sarah Palin, and thus kept divided and working against each other for the benefit of last gasp capitalism.

Once outside the furious drek of American political and economic life, and having finished the last book I will ever write, I found myself asking: "Why did the good in the American people not triumph? How can it be that so many progressive, justice-loving citizens failed? Their positions were well reasoned. The facts were indisputably on their side. Obviously, there was, and is, more going on than merely losing battles to demagoguery and meanness. Why do we lose the important fights so consistently? What has kept us from establishing a more just kingdom? Something is missing.

I think it is, in a word, the spiritual. The stuff that sustained Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and gave them the kind of calm deliberate guts we are not seeing today. I am not talking about religion, but the spirit in each of us, that solitary non-material essence, none the less shared by all humans because we are human. When we let our capitalist overlords cast everything in a purely material light -- as material gain or loss for one group or another -- we played the oppressor's game.

It was always a game with no vision. Just good guys, bad guys, pissed off people, or apathetic disenfranchised ones, amid one helluva lot of money changing hands. Mostly the wrong hands. That game drives us to the petty larcenies we perform against one another in the name employment, and the atrocities abroad to which none of us lay our rightful claim as beneficiaries of the empire's pillage. Our purposeful blindness to such things necessarily eliminates any universal vision. All the best ones are universal.

Yet down inside human beings is a love of justice. Honestly. The psyche seeks balance, and therefore seeks justice. Regardless of the perversion of its definition, and therefore the laws, by those who own nearly all of our country and damned well intend to own the rest, we know.

~ Joe Bageant, "Blogging toward the Kingdom"


K&R
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
8. But....but....if the corporations are making record breaking profits - isn't that all that matters?
:sarcasm:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
9. I call it by it's old-fashioned name: "solidarity"
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 06:31 PM by readmoreoften
It's not just empathy. It's solidarity. It's "I feel for you. I will stand beside you." Solidarity.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Whatever we call it, it doesn't seem to exist as it once did.
Look at how some DUers talk trash about unions.

And unions are the ultimate in what you'd call solidarity.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
10. The system has brainwashed us into only considering ourselves
as individuals with only consumer choices to make us distinct in an impersonal corporate world. I think humans are basically social and communal...we have to rediscover our solidarity or perish.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Maybe our spread-out suburban lifestyle has contributed to this too?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. I think that is one part of it.
I've lived in heavily urban areas too, and there is a similar sense of disconnection and alienation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. Well stated and, sadly, True.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
11.  DUers are clearly not compassionate to moderates or conservatives
and certainly the far right is no better
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. DUers are equivalent to the Far Right now
Oh boy.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. Since Reagan started shredding the social safety net 30 yrs ago, how many parents
have duifully taught their four-year olds to IGNORE homeless and other distressed people they may walk by every day, and NEVER to dream of 'HELPING' them?

No wonder Republican ranks have swelled over the last generation, as government, personal, and corporate ethics have declined. Ayn Rand is smiling somewhere--somewhere very hot.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
15. Anomie and you are correct
Anomie is a sociological term meaning "personal feeling of a lack of norms; normlessness". It describes the breakdown of social norms and values.<1[br />
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomie

Tried to use Websters, but hey...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kickysnana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
19. That IS the story of Sodom and Gomorrah
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 07:03 PM by kickysnana
If you read it without someone telling you "what it means". It has to be the original "spun" story and it shows how well spin works.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Booster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
20. I went to an Indian casino on Monday on a busload of mostly
elderly people. The lady in charge told us that the bus would leave promptly at 3pm & if we weren't there they would leave without us. Sure enough, one of the ladies didn't show up at 3pm and, although we waited around for 15 mins, the bus did indeed leave. I told the lady in charge that I would go look for her and have her paged if she would describe her, but the lady said no and we left. Ruined the whole trip for me (not to mention the money I lost). I think we should have ALL gotten off that bus to look for her. I've worried about that woman ever since.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
21. sadly, I believe you are right- but perhaps we're letting the media
in all it's forms (including internet) influence our behaviour more than we realize.

I'm disgusted that the Jet-Blue guy has become a 'hero'. The woman was rude to him, and he chose to respond with rudeness.
Everyone loses with this kind of response.
All the while the media is pumping this up and stoking the ugliness.

We don't have to buy into this. As a wise man said and lived- "We must BE the change we wish to see in the world".

We cannot control others, we can only control ourselves (and that at times is an incredible challenge).

I recommended your post, because you speak a troubling truth- and speak it well.

:grouphug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
joe_sixpack Donating Member (655 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
22. I can't understand
why you would feel that way.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
24. But exceptions DON'T prove the rule. Google that. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
25. Gibbs = example.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
27. "How is that my problem?" - it's become out motto
It ought to replace "In God We Trust" on the money.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
28. Not sure I agree. Although there are examples of people lacking
empathy, there are many people who do care. We have a lot of people donating to charities, volunteering, random acts of kindness. There have always been and always will be those who lack empathy, but I think that we are just too focussed on these ones. Good news and good acts just don't seem to sell.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
29. Individualism has trumped community.
The sense that "we're all in this together" has diminished dramatically since the 50s. We're all so focused on ourselves, we don't give a fuck about anyone else. There are many factors that contribute to this:

> value things over people - a key factor - key
> population - it's harder to find a common bond in bigger communities
> transience - when you don't value community, it's easier to walk away from a community
> busy lives - whatever the reason, most people have a very limited amount of personal/discretionary time - no wonder they're stressed & pissed!
> digital age - while the internet has created new virtual communities, it also allows us to tune out our here-and-now community with cell phones, iPods, etc.
> cool to be cruel - like PA Democrat said above - our society cultivates cruelty
> economy - as it gets worse this bad behavior will be exacerbated

Last night Anderson Cooper showed a video of a woman at a Burger King drive through reaching through the drive through window & assaulting the employees. When the employees closed the window, she smashed the window with a bottle from her car. What was the cause of this spoiled brat tantrum? They didn't have chicken nuggets. Unfuckingbelievable!

I see behavior like this & I feel like I fell down the rabbit hole. I miss civility & manners.

"Happiness doesn't come from having things; it comes from being part of things."
~Chris in the morning, Northern Exposure






Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
31. Pretty hostile to folks who don't believe what you do.
Very ironic.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Examples?
Without them, you are simply being snarky and petty.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #32
44. Nope.
Some self-awareness about the way you communicate might help, but you clearly just want to fight. Confirming my general point.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Ah, well, sorry I;m not as wise and enlightened as you are.
It must be such a burden for you.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. My question is, how is a combative attitude working out for all of us collectively?
Is it helping? I'm pointing to your rhetoric, not your person. You keep trying to pick a fight. It seems like an example of the problem itself.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. Is repeatedly pointing out "the rhetoric" helping?
Hmmm?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #48
50. In this case, no.
Clearly. :-) The fighting paradigm, searching for enemies, is sometimes not helpful.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
33. K & R nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
phasma ex machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
34. What the world needs now is love,
Sweet love
It's the only thing
That there's just too little of
What the world needs now
Is love, sweet love
No, not just for some,
But for everyone

- Hal David
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
35. And people in other countries care more?
Why?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. Caring is part of culture.
How they care and how much they care. The way people interact, and what's in-bounds and off limits to say. What's considered polite and what's considered an insult. The US has a media culture more than anything - it's a mirror of our society and shapes it at the same time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. Caring is part of every culture.
I'm still not seeing why other countries have more empathy.

"US has a media culture more than anything"

You should see more of the States, that's a false statement.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. I've lived in Texas, Ohio, California, New Mexico and Oregon
but I'm always happy to take you up on that offer
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. I've lived in Texas and New Mexico as well.
There is so much for people to discover in this country. We all need to travel to other countries and learn about them but we shouldn't forgot our own wonderful Melting Pot.

I've into so many wonderful people and cultures in my home-turf of Central Indiana alone.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. I miss New Mexico
my native state.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:36 AM
Response to Original message
39. Yes, 10,000 years ago the world was a far kinder, gentler place. Same with during the Roman Empire.
The Middle Ages were full of all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings between people.

Clearly, things are getting worse. By every yardstick imaginable. We're doomed, I tell you, doomed. DOOMED!

I blame video games. Or maybe porn.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 04:02 AM
Response to Original message
41. i agree with you, and i also believe it is nationally manufactured by the anxiety of poverty
what better way to keep the peons whose blood and sweat is needed to grease the gears of our system than by forcing them at each other's throats for table scraps and fear of being crushed to death by the grind of poverty?

maybe a social acceptance that the american rugged individualist dream is forever dead may free us into an empathic acceptance of our fellow american human? one can only hope...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 04:05 AM
Response to Original message
42. I don't see that

But since you warned sternly not to discuss it:

"Don't cite the exceptions to me. Remember that exceptions only prove the rule." (What rule BTW?)

I will refrain from continuing to have a discussion and leave it at that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
47. Some people don't love other people ...
and I hate people like that. (Tom Lehrer, patter before "National Brotherhood Week".
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
49. ttt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Oct 24th 2014, 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC