Loneliness can kill you.
According to an article in Forbes Magazine, some recent research by neuroscientist and psychologist John T. Cacioppo indicates that being lonely – not being alone – can do more than give us the blues. It can affect our health in profound ways, even shortening our life span.
This goes against popular thinking of recent years, which says that people are inherently selfish, and that their actions are motivated purely by self-preservation. It seems that people really do need people, after all.
Most importantly, quality realtionships are important. Many of us know what it’s like to be in a room full of people and feel entirely alone.
Feeling isolated is more powerful than actually being isolated. You can have many friends, co-workers and social engagements and still feel lonely.
It’s the age of facebook, twitter, and blogs. We chat on instant messaging all day. We’re more connected than ever, right? Or are we?
Missionaries go to remote regions where [gasp] there might not even be internet access!!! And what they often find are people who are much more inter-connected, and subsequently, less lonely than their American counterparts.
It strikes me that we have the means at our fingertips (quite literally) to send messages around the world, yet we haven’t yet mastered the ability to reach out to the neighbor across the street or down the hall or at the next desk.
Someone you know is lonely. Do something today to connect. It can start with a facebook message or an IM, but don’t let it stop there.
Be real. Talk face to face. Maybe even offer a handshake or hug.
You might be saving a life, right?