Yes, that’s the key word,
The most awful word in the
English tongue. Murder doesn’t
Hold a candle to it and hell is
Only a poor synonym
– Stephen King
That throbbing headache, that sleepless night, that please I beg you god be alright already. Alone. From the long list of insecurities playing through ones head to the intense fearfulness that creeps under that so assumed formidable, thick skin. Alone. Very often voiced out but very rarely on the occasion believed or addressed. I think it is not believed because the word ‘alone’, unlike what most dictionaries will tell you, is not a term for a specific occurrence. Instead it is more of a blanket statement for something felt, not thought. And its venom is different for every single one of us, hence the state.
A morbid state of being that it might be, I can’t help but question – why is our societal evolution purposefully enhancing it? According to a recent article by Time on why loneliness might be the next health issue,
“Many social scientists say technology and housing trends are increasing the risk of loneliness. More Americans (and I believe progressive societies in general) are living alone than ever before, and technology like texting and social media has made it easier to avoid forming substantive relationships in the flesh and blood. Yet research shows that relationships can improve health in a variety of ways, by helping us manage stress, improving the functioning of the immune system and giving meaning to people’s lives.”
We seem to be swapping hugs and kisses for emojis and friends and family for wider ‘comfort’ space. We value independence over vulnerability and brains over kindness. More prominently, we are neglecting connections. We forgo communicating honest ideas due to the fear of being wrong or judged or worse still, because we want to retain our sense of pride. But what we often fail to realise is connections are the very thing that keeps us ahead as a species.
So next time you feel alone, drop that fear or ego; pick up the phone and call that friend you haven’t spoken to in forever; share a hug with a stranger; forgive that boy or girl who broke your heart; agree to disagree with that friend or colleague. Because although the differences between us – and I assure you there can be many – may fuel our innate loneliness, the chance of happening upon connections is worth any number of fights and frictions. Besides, at the end of the day, we can agree on that very fact that we are all made or have evolved (depending on your preference of belief) to be different, to be special. So choose to believe that you are not alone. Because your slight smile tells me I am not alone, in thinking I’m alone.