July 31, 2020

Does social cohesion reduce social conflict

Stephen Docherty, 58

This poem outlines my experience of being stabbed as a young man in Glasgow, barely a week before my 16th birthday, as it flows in and out of the timeline of events, using rhyme and word play, and indeed the humor of the everyday language of the city. The story, however, is about the love and solidarity displayed by the people of the city, from the women who stopped their cars in mid traffic to shout directions to allow my escape, to the two guys out for a pint who casually escorted me in the ambulance to A&E, and how all this stood in contrast to the feelings of isolation experienced by myself, and indeed many people at that stage of their lives. This was a sharp challenge to my perception at the time that people only looked out for themselves, and is a reminder of the cultural humanity that exists in communities and cities across Scotland; a communal affinity that rises above all that seems set to divide us. My reflections on that wet Saturday afternoon, converted me to the conviction, that social cohesion is the solution to reducing conflict.