Spring in the UK. A rain of petals. See the cat on the pavement? This was in April.
On my Mind
Loneliness, neo-capitalism and the fabric of our lives.
“Disimagination impels us to abandon creative ideas about new possibilities. Instead of seeking to dismantle capitalism, or rein in its excesses, we should accept its demands and use self-discipline to be more effective in the market. To change the world, we are told to work on ourselves — to change our minds by being more mindful, nonjudgmental, and accepting of circumstances.”
“The cruelty lies in supporting the status quo while using the language of transformation. This is how neoliberal mindfulness promotes an individualistic vision of human flourishing, enticing us to accept things as they are, mindfully enduring the ravages of capitalism.”
You have produced some data that suggests loneliness is contagious. How does that work?
”It is actually stunningly simple as a mechanism. In one study we looked at people’s connections, every three to four years. This process happens over time. Let’s say that you and I are neighbours. I have become lonely for some reason and you are my friend. As a suddenly lonely person I am now more likely to deal with you cautiously, defensively, as a potential threat to me [because you might leave and add to my pain], and you recognise that so we are going to have more negative social reactions. And over three or four years we are more likely to stop being friends. So that is one less confidant for both of us.”
In John’s Garden:
Magnolia and camellia.