Friday, December 26, 2014

Loneliness or Being alone

There is often a thought I have anywhere around the holidays, and that is of people that are alone.  Our society is one in which we value the individual: individual rights and the person more than the collective society.  Although most of our roots stem from European lineage here in America, we are considered an individualistic society.  Allow me to explain.  Anthropologists (generally) classify society in two groups:

  1. Collectivist

  2. Individualistic

A collective society is one in which the group is more important than the individual.  We see this in Asian cultures where Family and clan affiliation are all so important.  This is also seen in Latin and Northern European countries as well.

This is one reason why there is such a political and ideological gap in some arguments in our country.  Collectivist ideas are introduced into an individualistic society.  Hence the problems with government programs and over taxation, healthcare, welfare etc.  (hint ... hint)

Individualistic societies, like ours value individual freedom and work as the supreme.  This is mostly who we are as a people, but herein lies a conundrum:

The individuals path, work and choices are above all else and sometimes, with all the "getting" in life, if there is no one to give it to or share it with it becomes empty.  The emptiness I speak of is the worth of a person to his or her society.  Man kind is a social creature and not meant to be alone, but to share his/her experiences with another.  Sometimes it more important to be part of something greater than you are in just being self. 

This is one reason why people are desperate to be part of a group or club.  And as we can see from society, if people cannot get wholesome attention and friendship, then infamy and evil associations will work for them as well.  Being alone can be good, provided you know who you are; but loneliness is unbearable. 

I notice than in a healthy Dojo there are people who love the art and want to be part of something greater than them.  The program is important and gives you a sense of being something greater than you are on your own.
conversely, isn't that one of the great things about the Church?  We are individuals, but we are the Family of God, and greater as the Body of Christ that what we would be as an individual.

Sometimes we may be alone, but neither is really in loneliness.

Your Brother in Christ
And  Senpai in Karate 

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