Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Loneliness is a sin

It seems people in the world can identify themselves as either lonely or happy. The prevailing view says loneliness is akin to unhappiness. However I want to consider the criteria by which we condemn the lonely and in turn ourselves. What is it about loneliness that makes us sad? I want to argue that these emotions of loneliness and unhappiness are not the same.

Feelings of loneliness are normally thought to stem from lack of companionship. I argue that it is not the pain of being single but rather the feelings of inadequacy that bring depression. Let us look at the characteristics of what we imagine as the ideal loner: someone unsocial, uninteresting, and unattractive. In truth we often forget these factors are relative. For example of course a person will seem uninteresting to someone who doesn't share her interests. The  inadequacy stems from mistaking these characteristics as absolutes. It comes from saying to oneself, "unsocial to all, uninteresting to anyone, and attractive to no one".

The next question is to see what task our inadequacy pertains to. I don't want to say the obvious answer: reproduction. Instead I think our intelligence allows us to set our own priorities. We prioritize our basal endeavours as they see fit to our lifestyle. In turn we have come to value the social and recreational aspect of sex more so than the procreational. Thus I think its more likely people feel inadequate because they feel their social status is threatened. They place great importance on the respect they receive from others.

For someone who values self-accomplishment over praise, loneliness is an empowering feeling of individuality.  It is the confidence in oneself to be able to accomplish the task at hand without a shoulder to lean on. Already images stem in our mind of someone successful perhaps in business or medicine but it can be anyone. Knowing this we have an obligation to put aside crippling feelings of inadequacy based on false absolutions and become individuals others come to rely on.

23 comments:

  1. I agree with you to the some point that loneliness doesn't make us sad but it's the ones you know and the ones around you who makes happy moments merrier.

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  2. I have some mixed feeling on the topic. Loneliness could easily be a bliss. Just make wise use of it. And always remember: people tend to betray each other.

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  3. That's all I need, to be guilty of another sin... =P

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  4. I think I align myself more with the individualist perspective. I, pure and simple, prefer to be alone. Though I do socialize, I don't do that nearly as often as other. All in all, a rather interesting read.

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  5. people can be happy when alone

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  6. To be alone is great sometime...
    Have it's good and bad sides.

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  7. I prefer to be alone most of the time.

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  8. I can really go either way, I love company, but sometimes I just really hate it. Good Post.

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  9. This is impossible? I'm not sinner.

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  10. Odd, I've never seen this kind of interpretation of loneliness.

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  11. This is really messing with my brain. Good stuff.

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  12. Hmm... Another interesting perspective on an interesting topic. Great blog!

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  13. Good point, I should try to be more independent

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  14. Well said sir, you remind me of my humanities teacher, The greatest teacher ever

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  15. Very interesting point of view, i am confused.

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  16. interesting take on it. made me think

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  17. I wonder if lonleiness would exist for someone who'd lived their life as a solitary nomad

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  18. Deep stuff. It resonated with me.

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  19. I think many people feel comfortable being alone! Even, I feel the best is to have a good balance between each. If there's always somebody with you, you sometimes need your lonely times too!

    So, balance is the key in my opinion!

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  20. it is nice to be able to do just about anything on your own but it is also very nice to be able to do things with others
    but I do tend to keep to myself, less backstabbing and doubletalking that way

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  21. I agree with "loneliness is akin to unhappiness" but sometimes you can be also unhappy if you are not alone.. so it depends.

    btw like your blog

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  22. so in short, there are also benefits of being alone/lonely if you know how to use them...?

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