The Loudmouth Protestant

August 7, 2009

George Sodini and Loneliness

Filed under: life,Uncategorized — nickisym @ 11:30 am
Tags: , ,

Unless you are a recluse, you have probably heard much about George Sodini, the 48-year-old man who entered a Pittsburgh L.A. Fitness Club aerobic’s class , turned off the lights and opened fire killing three people, injuring 10 and then killing himself. This happened on Tuesday and since then authorities have been uncovering more about the life of George Sodini. They have discovered an online diary and Sodini’s blog where he documented his struggle with loneliness and his desire for female companionship. His entries go into detail about feeling unattractive amidst millions of women. He talked about seeing beautiful women at the gym and feeling like he couldn’t have any of them. His neighbors said that he kept to himself. All he seemed to have was himself, his blog and his camera where he would document the last moments of his life. And there it is.

A man, a lonely man, only has his devices with which to express his loneliness and nothing else. I sympathize with Sodini—not with his killing people—but his feeling of loneliness. I live in New York, the city that never sleeps, and yet and still there are moments when I feel utterly alone—I know there is a difference between alone and lonely. Despite the fact that I live with two other people, and am buffeted by people 24 hours a day, I too can sometimes feel lonely. Add to the fact that our society places great value on social networking. It used to be that social networking meant that you met people in brick and mortar places and you fellowshipped. But now, social networking is sitting in front of your computer or walking with cell phone in hand typing out your every emotion. And because we’ve become to accustomed to reading each other through screens, we’ve become accustomed to responding—or not—through those same screens. Sodini’s blog posts were his cries for help and no one responded. I don’t know if this was a public blog but if it was and no one responded it furthers my point all the more.

There are so many lonely people out there. You and I can be sitting next to lonely people at our jobs, or on the bus or train we take to work, or standing in front of or behind them on the checkout line at the grocery store. We could live next door to them, as people lived next door to Sodini. We could be sharing a pew with the lonely people and we just wouldn’t know. But we could know if we opened our eyes and our hearts to the people around us.

You never know just how lonely someone is—or was—until it is too late. I don’t know if Sodini had close friends or was close to his family, but I reckon that if he’d felt their love more fully in his life, Tuesday might not have happened. Furthermore, I don’t know the extent of his relationship with God, but if He trusted in God’s love more than that of human affection, he might be here today.  This entire situation is a wakeup call. It is time for us to step outside of ourselves and watch the people around us. On Wednesday I wrote about the importance of going deeper to find out how people are really doing and I didn’t even realize how closely it would connect to this situation, but it does. We have to step outside of ourselves to discover the condition of the people around us. The next time you ask someone how they are doing, pay close attention to every word they say, their body language, their intonation, what they do after they’ve finished telling you. Even be aware of it if they keep their answer short. If there has ever been a time to heighten your sense of awareness about people’s conditions, now is the time.



  1. Right on. Only Love can save lives. Christ was right.

    Comment by Paolo from Italy — August 7, 2009 @ 7:55 pm | Reply

  2. I think it had more to do with Sodini hating women and thinking they owed him, and less to do with him just wanting someone to talk to.

    Comment by daisyfuck — August 9, 2009 @ 12:18 am | Reply

    • Daisy, I certainly think that is a part of it, but I also think there were some issues involving him being deeply and utterly lonely. I know there are plenty of men our there that hate women and feel they are owed something by women, but it hasn’t driven them to kill them. I think this is so much deeper than feeling bitter.

      Comment by Nicole Symmonds — August 9, 2009 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  3. i think people are too afraid of people. Nobody wants to question how ‘fine’ or ‘ok’ others are because wo don’t wanna come off as nosy and as if we’re prying into their business. And we do not express because we’re afraid to be vulnerable and then get shut down. But hey, the risk of feeling like you made the mistake of either or is definately worth it, as we see in the example of Sodini.

    Comment by chin — August 23, 2009 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

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