A Symbol of Our Sick Culture

loneliness photo
Photo by Sabrina Campagna

According to an AP story carried in The Oregonian, a man was found dead in his foreclosed home three months after he had passed away, apparently of a heart condition. His mummifying body was found by the cleaning service that the bank had hired.

This is so symbolic of our general failure to take care of each other. It immediately brought to mind this essay I recently read by George Manbiot: The age of loneliness is killing us.

I would love to know the circumstances around the foreclosure of the man’s home. Did he his lose job? Probably. If you’re over 50 these days and find yourself out of work, it usually means a nightmarish early retirement in which you struggle to make your savings last, if you have any, until you can start collecting a meager social security check at age 62. And good luck getting by on that.

By almost any measure, things are worsening economically for most Americans. I think they will continue to do so until we finally learn as a society that our own well-being ultimately depends on that of other people and the living things around us. It doesn’t not appear that Americans are going to get it before it is too late. Some of us may feel safe in our electronic cocoons now, but the time is nearing when we’ll be dragged out into the cold with the rest of shivering masses whom we have thoughtlessly left behind.