The Holy Bible records that Adam in his original state was perfect in form and intelligence. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created .... God saw all that he made, and it was very good” (Gen. 1:27,31).
Though the first man Adam was made perfect in all respects by God, still Adam was finite and incomplete. The Lord said, “I will make a helper suitable for him”.... So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the space with flesh. Thus the Lord made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her (Eve) to the man. (Gen. 2:18, 21-22).
Adam and Eve enjoyed uninhibited companionship with each other, and with the Lord. They were neither alone nor lonely. Into this ideal scene the serpent (devil) came in and seduced them (Adam & Eve) into sin. The immediate result of their sin was that they were sent out from the Garden of Eden. Here started their loneliness and disconnection with intimacy with God.
Human beings were created with a two fold need – fellowship with God, and companionship with other human beings. This social instinct is deeply rooted within every human being. When this need remains unsatisfied the seeds of loneliness grow. The greatest need of a lonely person is to ensure that he/she is in a right relationship with God. God has the power to cure every ill suffered by man, be it spiritual or social.
With the modern lifestyle we follow today, many are victims of loneliness, which is prevalent both among the rich and poor. Many factors are responsible for this undesirable behavioral disorder.
Structure of Society: Every year large populations living in a certain situation change their location. This can be from rural to urban locations or vice versa. This interferes with the development of a community spirit, and with enduring friendships among people.
Modern Technology: The microchip has added significantly to the already complex and competitive lifestyle. Everything today tends to become more impersonal. The competition of the supermarkets has overtaken the personal attention and service the corner store was providing to his clients. The workers in the supermarkets have been reduced to robots. Everything gradually seems to be happening on-line.
High-rise Apartment Blocks: A large number of people live in the same block, but hardly know each other. At best they may be knowing their neighbors only by name. Life becomes stereotyped and rather mechanical. Large financial and commercial organisations have a KYC (Know Your Customer), but hardly there is any attempt by people to have something like KYN (Know Your Neighbour).
The Television: This have proved to be a mixed blessing. The social evening visits have become a rarity, and taken up by the “interesting” serials of which there are many catering to all tastes and ages. Many such factors involved in television viewing provide a fertile bed for loneliness. Albert Einstein once said, “It is strange to be known so universally, and yet be so lonely”. The Week magazine dated August 27, 2017 carries data of two very revealing scientific studies carried out globally substantiating that loneliness is associated with shortening longevity.
Some Suggestions for Relief
Loneliness is an affliction which involves the physical, emotional, and spiritual components of human personality. Palliative measures which may be applied are:
A good patient-doctor relationship.
At the spiritual level seek the healing powers of God, and counseling may be required. “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).
Attempt to develop an honest friendship with colleagues Aristotle states, “ Friendship is a thing most necessary for life – since without friends, nobody would would choose to live, though possessed of all advantages”. Said by Aristotle.
Psychological and social elements have to be taken care of.
Self-discipline is a must. Try and develop a hobby to keep usefully busy.
Self Depreciation has to be avoided.
Meditation helps in the following ways:
(a) It keeps relationships in harmony.
(b) It puts us in a state of calm and joy.
(c) One develops compassion towards others.
(Ref. Some material has been drawn from the Book, “Facing Loneliness” by L. Oswald Sanders, Discovery House Publishers, 1990, Michigan, USA).
Image (c) Gettyimages.com