Blaise Tapp writes: Driven by the virtual catwalk of vanity and one upmanship that is social media, the consensus is that in the 21st century, showing off and amplifying one’s perfect life is the overriding priority for many – across the generations.
The Rooney v Vardy libel trial has captivated millions of people – many of whom actually have a job and read publications other than gossip mags – and has served to fuel the insatiable hunger for celebrity tittle-tattle.
This public airing of dirty laundry – probably all satin I should think – has done nothing to dispel the belief that we occupy a society that is obsessed with the lives of the rich and famous.
While it’s true that we live in an era where the tedious Kardashians are perched upon a Botox-filled pedestal for all to admire and aspire to be, there is plenty of hope with which to appease those who fear we live in a modern day dark ages.
I am reminded on a daily basis that there are plenty of people out there who don’t judge others by how many followers and likes they accrue.
Perhaps the best current example of this is the response to the war in Ukraine from many people living in this country.
I know of at least four families who are hosting refugees from that terrible conflict, and there are many more who want to open their doors to frightened strangers but are currently being thwarted by unacceptable bureaucracy.
To open up your home to somebody you don’t know is a hugely compassionate act and a giant leap of faith and, even if I didn’t have a young lively family, I am not sure I’d have the guts to do it.
However, I did take great pride this weekend in watching our two raid their toyboxes and cupboards for games and teddies for a three year old who has recently arrived in this country with, pretty much, nothing to play with.
I bet you have heard similar stories too.
Speaking to people who have welcomed Ukrainians into their lives it has reminded me just how many good, kind people there are out there.
Their motivation is simple: They want to help and they have the space and the capacity to be able to do so.
Another further reminder that there is more to be positive about than not is the public’s response to the extraordinary bravery of the broadcaster Deborah James.
On announcing that she was receiving palliative care, she launched an appeal that she hoped would raise £250,000 and, within less than a week, the total stood at more than £6 million.
Even now, with all the very many distractions at our fingertips, people will respond positively to a story or situation that they relate to.
You only need to look through the pages of this newspaper to see that charity, specifically charitable acts, are thriving.
I bet you know of more than one person who is running a marathon or scaling a mountain this year so they can raise much needed funds for a cause or organisation close to their heart.
None of this happens if you have a society that only thinks about itself and next time we are tempted to moan about the selfishness of the 21st century, we will do well to remember that.