Thursday, 13 November 2008
What does the damage?
A while ago I saw a television interview with a man who had been the victim of a serious assault and who had later had a nervous breakdown. Let's call this man John, for the sake of argument. John explained that the attack had happened in broad day light. He was driving along a road when another car pushed him into the verge. A man jumped out and beat John savagely. John then lay on the side of the road, bleeding badly, for about half an hour. During that time about twelve cars drove past but they didn't stop. John explained that it wasn't the attack which caused his nervous breakdown. He understood that to be the work of a random lunatic and so attached no wider signficance to it. It was the cars which drove past which caused his breakdown. They changed his view of the world. He thought that he was living in a caring society and he found out that he wasn't. Now none of the things which have happened to me are anything like as bad as that attack ..... But nonetheless, as I listened to John speak, I understood his point entirely.