One of the saddest headlines I’ve seen in a very long time comes to us in the New York Times. The headline article: “U.K. Appoints a Minister for Loneliness.”
A 2017 report indicated that “more than 9 million Britons often or always feel lonely.”
The extremes of age are identified as two very urgent problems: loneliness amongst the young and loneliness amongst the aging.
The breakup of the family, and especially the demise of the extended family, will explain why so many especially amongst the elderly are cut off. And the advent of social media helps to explain the impact of loneliness in epidemic proportion amongst young people.
But the sad reality is that when a government establishes a minister for loneliness it’s an affirmation of a problem; it’s not likely to be a step towards the solution.
To put the matter bluntly, government can’t be our friend. When human connection breaks down at a most fundamental level, no government can solve the problem.