My Thoughts on 19/11/2020

This week’s BBC Radio programme ‘All in the Mind’ reported that 55,000 people took part in their Loneliness Experiment in collaboration with Wellcome Collection. This made it the largest survey of its kind in the world. Here are the key findings.

  1. Young people are the group who feel loneliest
  2. People who feel discriminated against are more likely to feel lonely
  3. A third of people often or very often feel lonely
  4. Being alone is not the same as being lonely
  5. People feel ashamed about feeling lonely
  6. People who feel lonely score higher on empathy
  7. People who feel lonely have on average lower levels of trust in others
  8. People who feel lonely have more online-only friends
  9. People who say they often feel lonely report poorer health

It is worth going to the BBC website where they give more details on each of the nine key finding.

How to we deal with loneliness in our lives and how do we reach out to those who are lonely? I don’t have an easy answer to this question. It did bring to mind these words from St Teresa of Kolkata: (Mother Theresa)

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

Canon Father Anthony
Canon Father AnthonyParish Priest