Oct 14, 2011
neil

Joan Bakewell on why we’re becoming more cruel…surprising conclusion!

A fascinating interview on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning led to this exchange:

James Naughty in conversation with Joan Bakewell, recently appointed a Government Champion of the elderly.

Naughty: What did you conclude about how are we beginning to look at people who perhaps need at lot of help, a lot of care, who perhaps can be difficult and require a different kind of approach from people who maybe 50 years younger than they are?

Bakewell: …On the whole our society is quite cruel. We care about money, we care about fame, success.

Naughty: Has it got more cruel?

Bakewell: I think the decline of religious commitment to charity, and kindness has declined.

Nobody learns that. They don’t learn it in their home, they don’t learn it in their school, it’s seen as soft, it’s not what you’re about. You’re meant to stand up for your own individual personality, make your way in the world and good luck to you.

Kindness, empathy, generousity are all in short supply and people used to learn it from the churches. I learnt it in Sunday school.

Where do you learn it now? I don’t know.

 

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