Our society has lost the instinct for kindness

Our society has lost the instinct for kindness

On the occasion of the publication of Social evils – What are the social evils of the 21st century?

Would you come to the aid of a lost child in a busy shopping centre? Would you give up your seat on the tube for a pregnant woman? Would you knock on your next door neighbour’s door to offer them a lift to the supermarket? These are questions we ask ourselves from time to time and we are often troubled by our honest responses.

As a society, we appear to have lost the instinct for kindness and the willingness to extend the hand of friendship. Our responses to children, to older people, to strangers, are all conditioned by a concern not to offend and a fear of getting involved.

Our recent public consultation into the social evils of today highlights a real concern for the way in which society increasingly values people for their economic contribution, at the expense of kindness and compassion.

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