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Alone in a Crowd…

November 21, 2011 0 Comments

Recently, I heard a radio phone-in on a subject that I completely believe in. The topic was on people being lonely anywhere, including when being surrounded by a crowd of people. So true.

Most people have felt lonely at some point while being in the middle of a big crowd, in a downtown of a city, at a concert, a shopping mall, etc. This condition is a concern and I certainly hope that everyone experiences this as infrequently as possible.

The above example is largely one of an involuntary condition. But, it does remind me of a situation that I’ve seen before that is voluntary. Let me describe a scene I saw when down sailing on our boat in the Caribbean. We were having dinner at a restaurant in a marina. While we were eating I noticed a group of people on a motorboat docked in one of the slips. Remember that we were in a truly beautiful place on a comfortably warm evening with a gorgeous sunset. What I saw initially was that a couple of people were talking to each other while most where just sitting there. Within a short period of time, every single person stopped talking to each other. And, very soon after that, each one of them had pulled out a cell phone and started talking to someone else somewhere else.

I’m always amazed when I see something like this happen, but it baffles me when it happens in such a place – a beautiful place, where all was good, where they had their travelling companions right there, where it was one of the few evenings that they have while on holiday. I just don’t get it. They choose to spend money on their cell phones (assuming that they were all visitors) to talk to somebody who wasn’t there.

I know that there may be some reason why the scene turned out the way it did, but it still illustrates what I believe is a problem in our society. Our inability to talk to and carry on conversations with other people that we know and love. Sometime it takes a little bit of effort and practice to continue or extend a conversation, but isn’t it worth it? Often we can learn a great deal from other people if we just try a little harder. And, often in the process, we learn a little bit more about ourselves.

So, let’s put away the cellphones and honour those people around us with some attention.

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