Fondazione Zoé

It is a symptom of a larger tendency to gain results without sacrifices…


It is right and necessary to dispose of rubbish, but not in my back yard. Atomic energy seems useful, but don’t put the reactor in my back yard. We have to make economic sacrifices, but don’t touch my back yard (or wallet). We want rules and we want them to be respected…unless it means in our own back yard. I’m beginning to wonder if that famous NIMBY syndrome (Not In My Back Yard) doesn’t explain our human and social condition better than any pop social psychology theory. We want something or accept it as necessary, but we aren’t really, beyond just verbalising these intentions, willing to pay any personal price.

The clearest example is on the page of all Italian newspapers in the last week: in the space of a few days (a miracle), the same parliament that imposed a series of economic sacrifices on the Italian people has also done everything in his power to avoid these sacrifices himself (even more like Nimby syndrome than anything above!). In some way, we can assume that Nimby syndrome is a symptom of a larger tendency to gain results without sacrifices. And if this is the case, we can say that another type of Nimby requesting a quick and easy cure without sacrifices: pills to help us sleep, psych drugs to make us happy, weight loss tablets and the list goes on.

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