Don’t Be LonelyPosted: February 22, 2020
I’ve been reading a lot about how lonely people are these days. There was a sad news story about a man who died alone in his house and no one knew for weeks because he had no close friends or relatives and no one checked on him. This loss of belonging to any sort of community is not just an American thing, but it certainly will continue to add to the down fall of America.
Some people blame social media for making us less actually connected. Yes, it is easy to not have to talk with real people if you can just read about them, but that cannot be the only cause of the increase in loneliness.
I feel like we live in a delivery world. If you want something, someone just brings it to you. People don’t have to go to a restaurant to eat or the movies to see a film and they just get lazy and stay home. Being lonely is something that happens to you when you don’t work at being friends and making new friends gets much harder the older you get. Also, as you age your friends don’t always live as long as you do and there is not much you can do about that, except get younger friends.
There are lots of places you can go to combat loneliness, like the senior center, if you are old enough, the YMCA, clubs, the library, you can volunteer at non-profits, or you can join a church. Church membership is way down. I first blame the evangelical movement for pushing out people who are not right wing or sheep-like followers. Some churches attract people of narrow vision and are not welcoming to people with varying opinions. This has hurt church membership as a whole.
I feel very lucky (notice I did not say blessed, a term I feel has been co-opted by the right) that we have a church made of many different kinds of people with a spectrum of beliefs. No one at our church tells you what to believe. The one thing I particularly enjoy about our church is that we are a community. I know more people, of all ages I would never have any other contact with if we did not go to church together. My church is one of the best antidotes to loneliness, not that this has been an issue for me yet, but I am getting older.
No one is going to create a community for you. You have to do it for yourself. Don’t wait until you are all alone. Make sure you join something and belong. No one should die and not have no one notice.