Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Lonely People

In a small country like Malta, where everyone seems to be either connected through family or via some other way, the fact that it is possible to identify a considerable number of lonely people could make one shudder. Taking into account the Internet's role as a socialising tool, it could be hard to imagine how loneliness could still torment so many individuals!

Living in Sliema, I enjoy going out for walks along the promenade with my wife. It is amazing how often we spot the same people inside a bar or walking around without ever having someone with them. It is quite sad to see such people on their own even on Saturday nights when friendly groups, families, and romantic couples seem to be all over the place!

Although most of the lonely individuals I have spotted were usually in their late 30s/early 40s, loneliness is a disturbing phenomenon which goes beyond specific ages or cultures. In a country where several shops have already started advertising heavily for St Valentine's Day, those people who have felt lonely for a fairly long period of time might be facing a great deal of anxiety. They probably keep listening to countless messages about the importance of love and companionship, but who is exhibiting any affection or care towards them?


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8 comments:

Hazel said...

hi, red just drop by to say hello

Lupideloop said...

Sometimes I think loneliness is something brought on by the person him/herself!

The person would yearn for company but at the same time fear it, not knowing how to deal with it or how they would react!

One can feel lonely even when not alone! I see a big difference in being alone and loneliness.

Lupideloop said...

I wanted to add but hit the publish button too quickly - a great post and very thought provoking!

How, on this tiny island cramped and overpopulated as it is, can there be anyone who feels lonely!

yet it is a very true situation - maybe it is a result of our society which seems to be losing much of its heart and soul!

Red said...

Hazel: thanks for dropping by! Hope that you liked the blog and that you will continue visiting! :)

Lupi: I think that to a certain extent there have always been lonely people. Having said that, it might be the case that in today's world which places so much emphasis on individualism, caring about others is no longer such a priority. In many cases, the dominant idea seems to be: if I am happy, I do not give a rat's ass about what is happening to everyone else in the world! People are capable of coming up with all sorts of excuses to avoid caring about others. At the end of the day, it takes energy and time to do good things such as showing affection towards others. Not everyone is very keen about spending much time and energy on the people who could clearly benefit from a friendly chat!

In this post, I have not touched on the loneliness experienced by the many immigrants in Malta. Many of these have no relatives in the country and with the amount of xenophobia that exists in this country, I would not be surprised if countless immigrants feel incredibly lonely here!

GleGer said...

I think that lonliness is a psycho-social problem. People who normaly avoid to be in company of others I think are the most subjected to being lonley. We can be wrong if we are taking lonliness as a light problem, because lonliness can be the first step of other major problems like deppression and even sucicide. I don't read much about the subject of lonliness, but I think that this problem is more common in developed countries like US, Japan (who from my knowladge have the highest suicide rate), Germany ecc...
Good subject Dav, prosit!

La delirante said...

Hi Red, the other day they were showing a TV program about friendship. Most of the sms were along the lines that only Jesus and God were their best friends. Many also said that their best friend was a dog because "a dog doesn't betray". The bitterness in the messages left me thinking on the concept of friendship. I agreed however with one of the sms: "the rich always have friends". It doesn't mean that only the rich have friends but people who are having financial problems or are "different" have more difficulties finding friends or expanding their social network...

Red said...

Gleger: Thanks for your input! :)Loneliness is certainly not an insignificant problem in society. Many people, however, seem to avoid noticing and admitting how much loneliness there is in their lives. They prefer to lie to themselves that just because they are able to exhange a few words with a colleague at work or with a cashier at a supermarket, they are not so lonely.

Delirante: Good points! Money might not always buy happiness, but it surely affects the perception that other people have of a person. A rich person is more likely to offer tangible rewards to others than a poor one.

Abu Ali said...

Be A Man...Not A Shadow...If U wanna make A Lonely Less life....