Reducing Our Loneliness

No question, the human experience has moments of real loneliness.

After all, it’s just us up there in our heads. Then there are times when we find ourselves not seen or not understood, on the thinly populated side of a debate, or walking an empty path with little lamplight.

To be human is to know loneliness. And there’s great irony in that we are together in our aloneness.

While there is no panacea for it - after all, we need to know that loneliness to fully know ourselves - there are antidotes. And one of my favorites is this:

When we are feeling lonely, do something to reduce the loneliness of another.

It takes us out of our aloneness and into connection with another.

And it takes another out of her aloneness and into connection with us.

Pull up a chair for someone at a table. Bring a person into a conversation who’d been on the periphery. Welcome a friend, relative, acquaintance with unblocked enthusiasm. Call a friend to let her know she’s loved. Apropos of nothing, write someone to say how terrific he is.

Each gesture brings us further into community with one another. And makes all those imperceptible bonds that bind us a little more visible.

Let’s not let our loneliness go to waste. It can be such a catalyst for connection among each other, community with each other, and belonging to each other.

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BelongingCaitie Whelan