Sagacious | The Nature of Loneliness

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn

Is just to love, and be loved in return

Nature Boy, Nat King Cole

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

When I reach out to my friends, it isn’t always as spontaneous as it seems. Sometimes it is scheduled, and it is deliberate.

I’m not embarassed about this. Memory is a fickle thing and if I want to stay in contact with friends I need to plan on communicating regularly. I do this using my second, or digital, brain. I have repeating reminders in my phone to ensure I never go too long without contacting friends, particularly the ones I don’t see in person because they live half a world away.

Relationships may form organically but they are sustained intentionally.

I’ve also come to believe that one of the very best things a human being can do is form genuine, loving relationships with others.

I recently watched a video by Kurzgesagt on the nature of loneliness. Loneliness has a biological, evolutionary function, and its pain is very real. But the purpose it once served, from a time when humans lived in the same small community for their entire lives, no longer translates in our globalized and digitally oriented world.

Loneliness is more pervasive than ever, but it doesn’t have to be. We have the tools to be more connected than we ever have been – but it takes thoughtfulness and intention to make those tools work for us.

“Technology is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

Adapted from Francis Bacon’s quote: “Money is a great servant but a bad master.”

Calendar reminders to text friends is a gentle beginning. Tomorrow is never promised, for better or for worse, and it is always the right time to let your loved ones know that they are loved.

Lonely Fog, March 2019

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