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Manuscript Title

Reading is Also Involvement

Publication Date

1-1-1966

Abstract

Twenty years ago, mental health personnel talked and wrote much about man's aggressive impulse and the subtle and not so subtle ramifications of this impulse in various areas of human existence. They deplored man's aggression toward man. However, during the last decade the concern has shifted from man's aggression toward man to man's indifference toward man. Many times we can do something about people hurting one another, but what can you do when people simply don't care what happens to their fellow human beings. How often do we pick up the newspaper and read an account of how "law-abiding" citizens, who wouldn't think of hurting someone, turn their back on some individual whose life is in serious danger. They always have the same explanation. "Well, I just didn't want to get involved." It is as though they are saying, "I have my problems, I don't want yours; I don't want to venture out of my comfortable little world, because I'll get involved and somehow or other this getting involved may do things to my life that I won't like." Of course, the more shocking acts of indifference are highly visible in our society. Much less visible are the milder, more subtle symptoms of non-involvement, non-caring, which strike far more people than we realize, old and young, men and women, the well-educated and the little-educated.

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