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The Forum > Article Comments > Why we ostracise - the failing Catís Cradle > Comments

Why we ostracise - the failing Catís Cradle : Comments

By Malcolm King, published 3/7/2008

The social webs of friends, like the strings of a childís hand game, are slackening. We are becoming more isolated, more alone and more lonely.

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Curious article. I'm not sure if we're becoming more lonely but there is a connection between the fall in numbers of club memberships, common interest groups, members of political parties, etc and being alone.

Ostracism is a 'legitimate' tool for getting rid of people in the workplace. That is, it's legitimate only when people stand back and do nothing.

I can see what he's getting at as it's pretty much an extension of the theme of Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam - the fall of peer group attachments but there's no evidence here.

It's possible that we ostracise because we're simply nasty little apes.
Posted by Cheryl, Thursday, 3 July 2008 1:35:06 PM
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I like to ostracise myself. I think it's only the needy that feel they are ostracised. The ultimate nirvana is being left the hell alone. People are annoying.
Posted by Usual Suspect, Thursday, 3 July 2008 1:57:56 PM
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Hear hear, UsualSuspect -- other people are, by and large, unutterably boring. Some are nice to look at, admittedly, but the prospect of spending any length of time with people outside my immediate family fills me with gloom and despair. Thank heavens for email!
Posted by Jon J, Thursday, 3 July 2008 3:47:25 PM
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The trouble with this sort of article, which I also think mirrors much of Robert Putnam's work, is that it doesn't take into account the changing nature of relationships in the 21st century. Communities today form and dissolve more readily than in the past because they are less 'place based'- to use the current jargon - than was previously the case. Whatever we might think about the motor car and the internet, they have released us from reliance on local communities for our social interaction. We meet and mix with people from all over the place because we can, so our 'communities' are based more on mutual interest and respect than on accidents of birth and geography. Sadly,current government policies persist in trying to create local community apirit in a rather artificial way, rather than recognising that people will make and implement their own decisions about their communities and their personal and family relationships.
Posted by Senior Victorian, Thursday, 3 July 2008 5:57:59 PM
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Another self-centred, post-modernist egomaniac, trying to pass off a projected, deeply insecure personal narrative as truth (riddled with incessantly vascilating relativist revisionism).

Alone? Everyone is alone. Loneliness is fear of this simple truth. Its possible to take out the swings and roundabouts of reaction (in po-mo terms, 'meaning' informed by self-referrential contextualisation) and find a middle way, where the noisy fog of personal relativity can lift.

Ostracised? Its 'power' dependends on the buy-in or attachment that the banished has made. The 'problem' with me being 'excluded' is in my head, not the person/group in whose shadow l choose to wallow.

Problematic is the desire to belong and the attendant folly of developing an inherently delusory 'self' around something as fickle as what one thinks that others think about ones thoughts. Confronting this may solve the inherently problematic personal narratives of 'self.'

First thing to do when in a hole... stop digging. Be-coming confident, faithful to and trusting of the capacity to interpret whats real thru reasoned judgement, based on a rational and logical cognition of what one KNOWS and can be known, trumps all nonsense.

The idea that putting locks on windows is an affront to a burglar or refusing to answer the door, offensive to unsolicited spruikers, are examples of expecting accomodations by others, based on one's own insecurities. In this odd world of self, paradoxically, no one is allowed to be them-self.

Communication is a two way process. When someone puts their existence at the centre of their self-referrential universe, it tends to be all one way.

Talking is not the sole domain of communication, there are other spheres of perception/cognition/interpretation/interaction.

Compassion and empathy require no words, no explanation. Possibly, simple silence and presence mixed with 'putting yourself in their shoes' is the only type of compassion/empathy that there is. Talking gets in the way (projection triggers insecurity triggers projectn, ad-infinitum).

Compassion needs no context, no meaning, no nothing... anymore than a drowning person and a helping hand require intellectualised personal narratives to simply connect.
Posted by trade215, Friday, 4 July 2008 10:37:15 AM
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Trade215, an outstanding comment. Reckon the writer is coming from a social anthropological perspective rather than po-mo, but reckon you're on the money re 'buy-in' and wallowing.

Yes, it's madness to keep worrying about what people think of us when we don't really know what people think of us and all we can do is project. Even when people say they like us, I let it go at that, and let action be the test.

From a Zen perspective we give those who seek to use power over us 'grains of rice' by even acknowledging the power differential and trying to create some sort of dialogue with them.
Posted by Cheryl, Saturday, 5 July 2008 2:08:31 PM
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