The French are famous – “infamous” would be excessive – for their habit of remaining isolated from, unknown and indifferent to their immediate neighbors in their apartment building or on the street where they live. They can spend years in a neighborhood without ever exchanging a full sentence with anyone. “Bonjour” is about it. People die next door without anyone noticing.
Does this trait – in no way a French monopoly – explain why many people turn to God, their faithful, trustworthy, permanent companion, solace and friend ? Children everywhere invent imaginary companions. Grown up children do too.
Maybe if we all took the trouble to say “Hello ! Everything OK ?” – “How’s the family ?” – “Anything I can do for you ?” – “Would you like to have a cup of coffee (tea, whatever) with me; I just bought a new brand” – or even “I wonder if you would like to let me get to know you a bit better ?”
“All the lonely people, where do they all come from ?”. The Beatles may not have been the world’s most profound philosophers, but they asked some of the most important questions. People tend to fill the void with God. It would be so much nicer, or, as Winnie the Pooh said, “so much friendlier with two”.
We do not need the imaginary God-of-the-gaps whom we have created. Real people are all we’ve really got. And they are enough.