C L A R K  S O R L E Y

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HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE                                                    

Outside of the dangers faced from all of the potential ills that can come from the natural world - from disease, malnutrition, lack of shelter and security, from simply all the problems of survival for any physical entity in a potentially hostile universe - outside of these the greatest dangers come from other humans.

In the modern world much of the adversity thrown up by the elemental aspects of life is increasingly addressed. In our society we no longer worry about sufficient food provision. Short of a few who fall through the net most live in comfortable homes. With many of these historical challenges dealt with there remains, almost every bit as perilous, the dangers of other people.

This danger takes the various forms it always has. It may come from the ruthless indifference of authority. It may come from bad relationships. It may come from inherited emotional problems passed down genetically and compounded culturally. It may come from inadequate social structures with entrenched systems of value that don't serve well. It may come from the simple insensitivities of the daily round or the lack of compassion in the average other outside of kinship. It may come from the damage done within partnerships and their pretence of nurturing intent.

The list goes on of examples of man's inhumanity to man. It's not new and is as prevalent as ever. It's the great fly in the ointment, the elephant in the room, the massive cancer at the heart of the organism. On a regular basis it blights the life of every person one way or another. It's a further irony that this source of trouble is also the source of our greatest solace, that for emotional support we turn to other people. Yet it is other people who can just as easily bring hell upon us.

Very ironic. Very unfortunate.

our greatest solace is also our greatest trouble