How to Deal With Loneliness

Happy Owambe Day! Here, I have a beautiful read for your evening.

Hello dear,

Here are the five featured articles this week: Why We Are Feeling Lonelier Than Ever, Your Brain Is Wired to Suck the Joy Out of Good News, How Productivity Gets in the Way of Your Success, The Millennial Obsession With Starting Over, and Punishment Does not Create Solutions, It Empowers Spite.


Have you been lonely recently? I have. Several times. Loneliness has become one major part of many people’s life these days, both the young and the old. What is the cause of this usually dreadful feeling? Zat Rana explains loneliness as a feeling of not being understandable by the rest of the world. “A true connection with someone,” she wrote, “occurs when you show them your whole self, as they show you theirs, warts and differences and all, simply accepting that not everyone is going relate to it. Modernity, unfortunately, makes that very difficult with its various, complex norms, in spite of the fact that we are now superficially connected all the time.” So we become lonelier. The same thing goes for people who have committed a crime or the other— the kind depicted in many of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's works— “even if no one else in the world knows about what they did.” They feel lonely because the “the realization that they can never truly be honest with someone, never show their whole self to them, makes them feel alone and isolated even when they are surrounded by people who suspect nothing wrong.”

Recently, in a discussion with a friend about the pleasure she enjoys in the company of a new friend she just made, I asked her what she thinks about the thought that the pleasure she currently enjoys might soon wane. This might seem like a dark way to think but this is sadly a reality we all face daily. Journalist and essayist Livie Campbell captures this with her start of this Medium article: “When a good thing comes along, humans have a frustrating tendency to overplay the effect it will have over the long term. This, we tell ourselves, this will be what finally makes us happier: getting married, buying a house, going on a dream vacation, landing a coveted promotion. And for a little while, it probably will. But nothing lasts forever, happiness included. Eventually, everyone goes back to baseline.” In the rest of the article, Lizie took the pain of explaining practical ways by which we can survive this dilemma, and earning more time for ourselves to enjoy the people and things we love without getting tired of them.

Productivity is about following a particular cause, sticking to it until expected result is yielded. This is what we all strive towards--to be productive in areas of our lives. So it’s quite interesting to read Corey McComb’s criticism of productivity, arguing that it hinders true success: “The challenge is to not let our hours of productivity become bricks in a wall that overshadows exploration,” because exploration is the element of true success.

In contrast, Rainesford Stauffer, a former explorer and lover of new beginnings expresses her repentance, and calls people into her new-found fetish for commitment. She argues that while exploration is good, we shouldn’t give ourselves fully to it at the cost of commitment, which is needed to live a good life. She wrote: “Exploration and all it entails — finding yourself, finding home, finding love, finding likes and dislikes — only works if we give our discoveries a chance to strengthen their hold on us.” Somewhere, she quoted another writer: “Starting a good life is one thing, but building a good life is another.” It’s not about creating or acquiring (aka. exploring) new things but about keeping and developing those new things.

Last week I sent some students out of my Chemistry class for their incessant disturbance. Since then I’ve been feeling guilty at the extremity of my sanction. As an ironic answer to this, I stumbled on associate professors Patrick Forber and Rory Smead’s claiming that punishment satisfies spite more than it satisfies the common good. “When an adult confiscates a child’s toy for bad behaviour,” they argued, “both are in for a rough afternoon. Which raises the question: why do we punish in the first place?” We have re-published this article here, you should check out this case they’ve made against punishment.

I am not proud to say this but the day folds up ehn, I'll be so pained. As a tribute to how useful this tool is, here is my new gettyimage wallpaper copped from it:

That’s all for today.

See you next time!