Our emotionally detached society

The topic I have in mind is not really about society or everyone’s seemingly emotionless point-of-view towards certain events.  I could probably write for days and not even scratch the surface of how humans — as an entire populous — live in a weird emotional state.  With that said, I can’t help but wonder where I fit in to the bigger picture.

Where am I going with this?  There was an incident at work a couple of days ago that has had me filled with slight regret ever since.

The Incident

I work in a warehouse, so people are standing all day, moving around and sometimes lifting packages that may be out of their physical capabilities.  On the day of the incident, I was working in the area that finishes orders, packs them and prepares them for delivery.  Everyone has a work station and they are divided, like cubicles.  I was working for a couple of hours and from what I could see, only one person was working in front of me, five stations away. I decided to walk away from my station to do something else for a minute.  I walked past three empty stations and at the fourth, I look to my right and there is a young man laying on the ground with his eyes shut.  My first reaction is what fills me with regret.  I didn’t panic, but I was startled.  Instead of checking to see if he was ok, I walked away to find a manager.  I was able to find someone to check on him and it turned out he was able to get up and walk away.

The Reaction

The story ends positively, the guy is well and I did the right thing by finding a manager, right?  Well yes and no.  I think it is best in some situations to contact a manager who may be trained to deal with emergencies.  I only wish I checked on him first.  To ask if he was ok and at the least, make sure he was breathing.  That minute it took to find someone else to handle the problem, could have been a critical time to save him, if he was is worse condition.  Another thing that puzzles me.  Four people were working in the same area as the man, but no one said anything.  How long was he there before I found him?  Why didn’t anyone else take the first step to get help?

This situation reminds me of a story I heard a few years ago.  I lady in New York City was injured.  I forget what happened, maybe she had a stroke.  She was laying on the sidewalk for a half-hour before anyone came to her aide.  Countless people walked by the woman, who I think died at a certain point.  What did people think?  She was just another homeless woman sleeping on the sidewalk?  Why did it take so long before she was helped?

The Conclusion

The conclusion is that people are not emotionally attached anymore.  We live in crowded cities, surround by thousands of people, yet we are probably the most lonely generation in all of human history.  We don’t know how to connect with people.  We can talk to people, have relationships (that are often just based on general interests and not deep emotional connections) and learn to live together, yet we have no idea how to handle anything emotionally.

Of course this is just my opinion and is deeply generalizing, I know there are still some who don’t fit into what I am saying.  I think in general, most of us have emotional limitations.  I have a wife and son, I love them both.  I bond with them and care for them deeply.  I do have emotions.  My limitation is my lack of reaction.  If someone tells me a family member died (bad news) or they just got their dream job (good news), my emotions are very mellow and non-responsive.  Good news or bad, I don’t really feel what that person feels, so that is my detachment.  Part of that is my personality, but the rest is not knowing how to properly handle emotions.  The other end of the spectrum are the people who over-react.  They will laugh, cry or become infuriated at the slightest bit of news.  Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.  Maybe that’s what gives the world balance.  Still, I hope that people can find it in their hearts to care about someone other than themselves once in awhile (myself included).


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