The need for connection: Loneliness is the saddest thing in the world

So it seems to me like there really isn’t anything sadder in the world than loneliness, isolation, the feeling of being cut off from anyone else.
You could imagine somebody that has all the wealth and advantages you can imagine, except they’re completely alone, isolated from other people.
That person would be miserable.
There may be a few exceptions of people that can really- they really want to be alone.
But I really think that’s quite rare.
It’s quite rare to find true completely solitary hermits.
People that lived in- traditionally, historically, hermits lived alone, but they would traditionally have visitors.
You could have the guy living on the hillside could spend many days alone, but he would be known to be there and would have people visit him.
So there are cases of true isolation, but they’re quite rare.
For the most part, loneliness and complete isolation, it just leads to misery.
No matter how much you can imagine the conditions, everything else, health, wealth, everything else you can imagine.
Just imagine being perfectly healthy and rich in your mansion and you have no friends or family.
It’s easy to see how it would lead to this inward-turning spiral of self-destruction.
And on the other side, you can imagine somebody that is poor and sick, suffering, and yet is connected by love with friends and family, deeply connected, deeply loved and loving friends and family.
And as poor and as sick and suffering as they can be, that person I believe would be happier than the healthy, wealthy man with no friends and family, with no love.
So it keeps coming back to me.
Yeah, I keep coming back to this idea of loneliness being the saddest thing that there is.
And I find that useful to remind myself of that, the primary importance of connections with others, connections of love and community and friendship.
That’s of primary importance.
We have such- the way that we tend to think is often very individual, and I love being individual.
I’ve always considered myself individualistic in some sense.
I love being independent.
I love being self-reliant, and striving to be more so.
So I don’t see it as a choice between either this kind of lonely isolation or else just being completely subsumed into society and being completely a social being.
I am after all relatively on the introverted side of the scale, and I need to have certain space and boundaries for my own thoughts and my own independent way of life.
But if it is completely separated, if it is completely just about my individualness, then it has no meaning, and becomes very sad.
So independence, self-reliance, these are wonderful qualities, but they only really can be fulfilled through actually having connections of love with others.
So by becoming more independent, becoming more self-reliant, we can be leaders of ourselves and guide our lives and be independent from a lot of the influences from outside that are trying to pull us one way or another.
We can stand strong as individuals and choose the way we want to live.
But when we actually live that life, what really gives the depth and meaning to that life is the connection with others.
So, being an independent, self-reliant person, you can use that strength and that independence to support others, to guide others, and to raise up everybody as a community, family, partnership, friendship.
Independence and individual strength and reliance are the tools, but the project then to be done, the project to what we’re building with those tools of independence and self-reliance, what we’re building is something that can only be together.
It can only be in community, in friendship, in family, and in love.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *