Sense of community is missing

COMMENT: You showed that you all really care about others

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A sense of community is something I often feel is missing from life these days.

I remember listening to my grandad’s tales of times past and thinking how much more spirited people seemed.

I wonder how much of this attitude has led to our current government being re-elected

Perhaps it was due to the war effort and a sense of camaraderie, but these days you don’t see much evidence of it.

People seem more content to keep themselves to the themselves and only bother standing up for a cause if it has a direct effect on them.

I have a habit of making my opinion clear about issues that I believe to be important, but I think that much of this stems from my belief that being a bystander – and doing nothing to stop an act that may be atrocious – is as bad as committing the act oneself.

I teach a lot about the Holocaust in my line of work and having an in-depth knowledge of what can happen if you stand by and do nothing changes your opinions on how to deal with a situation.

We may not (thankfully) be talking about something that can have a devastating impact on humanity but, as everyone with a fragment of intelligence or social conscience knows, life is usually about the little things.

From bullying in the playground to listening to a friend badmouth somebody, from being unhappy with the way your child’s school has dealt with an incident, to loathing government policies; if you don’t stand up and say something, then nothing will change.

Sometimes of course, people have a tendency to shoot the messenger.

Plenty of parents blame teachers for term-time holiday fines (they need to think about government), and plenty of people in hospitals blame staff for failings that, again, are actually the fault of the government.

These alone are evidence to use your vote – or your metaphorical vote – wisely.

On the day I’m writing this, people in my street are grouping together to show a respectful objection to a planning application.

Many have lodged their valid and logical objections online too, and, equally, many haven’t.

Some of those who haven’t most likely don’t object, some won’t have online access, but others will simply have had better things to do with their time, and decided to let others do the ‘dirty work’ for them instead.

I wonder how much of this attitude has led to our current government being re-elected, and how the bystanders will feel when they are the person who, one day, needs a morally supporting hand.