Resist the pull of isolation
By Jean Ricot Dormeus
The Dead Sea has amazed me because its state resulted from isolation. A long while ago this body of water was part of the vibrant Mediterranean Sea. A series of natural events cut it off and in isolation it has become the saltiest lake on earth, allowing no animal or plant to thrive. Hence the name Dead Sea. This striking geological freak teaches a lesson, isolation leads to stagnation, and shrivels vibrancy and life.
Used for a moment, isolation favors reflection and the surge of great ideas. As a lifestyle, it erodes our creativity and well-being. No human being is self-sufficient, no country can live in autarky, not even bodies of water can keep nurturing life without receiving from and giving to other elements in nature.
According to a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published in 2020, “Social isolation was associated with about a 50% percent increased risk of dementia. Poor social relationships (characterized by social isolation or loneliness) was associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke. Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.”
Jules Verne observed, “Solitude, isolation, are painful things and beyond human endurance.” And Carlos Salinas de Gortari stated, “Isolation is a self-defeating dream”. We should resist the temptation of withdrawal and isolation, because we must not deprive the world, including our family, friends, and community, of our contribution and support.
Further, our own happiness commands that we engage with others within groupings, associations, and organizations, for the lofty purpose of serving humanity and being a relief to mankind. At the same time, we will benefit from other people’s knowledge and skills. The flow of giving and receiving will prevent us from becoming “dead seas” and will sharpen our minds. By all means, resist the pull of the siren song of isolation.
Jean Ricot Dormeus
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