Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 15

According to some sociologists, world has become a global hamlet where the distances have disappeared. Going on with this idea, we could say that the world is a planetary community of communication. Thanks to the modern means of transport and the development of the media, we are constantly in touch with the whole planet and we are punctually informed in detail of the events that happens far away from our homes.


Whether we are at home or at work and without moving, we can follow the most relevant events in the planet and also know the lifestyle, culture and other human manifestations.

But the contradiction arises when we realise that, although we live in contact with the rest of the humanity, the lack of communication surrounds us, especially with those who are close to us. We have information about what happens far away from our abode and we do not know anything about our neighbours, who, sometimes we do not meet during long periods of time. We say hello to them briefly in the hallway or in the street. They have problems but we do not care about them. We know all that happens in foreign countries, but we do not pay attention to those things happening in our neighbourhood, town, city, or country.

Which is the reason? It is not the disdain towards close people or the lack of interest towards their problems. It is a communication problem.

The loneliness and the lack of communication, the isolation and the anonymity are more extended than we suspect. This takes place mainly in big cities that finally become big islands. We live surrounded of people and we end isolated and alone. And this happens all around the world. It is difficult to find good areas of communication in the middle of cities that have all kind of services available to the citizen.

Sociologists talk about the lack of communication in several fields of life. It starts in the family, where the married couple, partners, children, grandparents, grandchildren, suffer from aphasia, the most important illness related to the lack of communication.  Due to a busy lifestyle, the members of the family spend less time together at home and they do not coincide. When they meet, there is a foreign element between them: the television. It becomes a member of the family, and it does not have the function of integrating its members, but that of separating them. The little time they spend together is invested in television images that make difficult the relationship between the members of the family. Everyones keep their own experiences for themselves and they do not share them; every person withdraws into his problems and does not share them.

In personal life, the lack of communication in private life affects to lots of people, preferably elderly people and women that do not work out of their homes. They spend hours isolated at home without the possibility of mixing with people. They may talk, but only to themselves; it is possible for them to establish a communication, but still with themselves. However this is a necessary and deep sort of communication, it must be combined with others.

Due to different reasons, the number of people living alone, without anyone to answer their questions and take their problems seriously is increasing more and more. They do not have anyone to make questions or to address to speak in confidence. Someone who can listen, understand, take in and stimulate. Someone to laugh or cry with. In short, someone to live with. Maybe, this is the darkest and the most infuriating and negative side of the human existence.

Epicurus affirmed that the speech of a philosopher that could not relieve the suffering of the human being was vain. The maxim of the Greek philosopher can be used in culture like this: whatever cultural act that cannot contribute to relieve the loneliness of human beings and encourage the communication between them will be pointless.

Culture is a privileged path to fight the loneliness through the interpersonal communication. The first level of the communication is the experience. One person talks with somebody revealing his personal experiences and listening to those of the rest of people. By doing so, the person exchanges his ideas but still thinking by his own. When the communication does not develop in the field of the experience, the communication act appears like an empty box, like something meaningless.

Someone involved in a communication process realises if the person talking shares his own personal experiences or strange stories that have nothing to do with his real life. There are expressions like “he cannot believe what he is saying”, “he does not trick me”, “he is always telling the same stories”, etc. All this kind of sentences shows distrust towards impersonal and even dishonest messages from lots of people. When the experience doesn’t take part in the communication act, we are facing a trick or rather a self-deception.

Domingo Pérez Auyanet - Spain