To walk the earth amongst billions, yet apart, alone. Is it not a fear worthy of worry? To smile warmly and say hello, yet feel emptiness and falsehood. Is it not a fate worthy of avoiding? There is comfort in solitude, but there is only so much happiness derived from oneself…the human spirit yearns to reach out. We are inherently social creatures. There is strength in self-sufficiency, but there is only so much that one can feed on from within.
We all have an inherent need for someone to understand us. Someone who understands us is someone who validates us. They identify us as a human being who exists as a part of society and not someone who merely exists in society. It is exciting to meet that someone who shares the same values that we do and lives the same philosophy that we do. It tells us that we are not alone.
But is there really such a thing as a kindred spirit? Why does it seem to be so difficult to find one? I do not feel as though there are many out there who share my ideals. At heart, I am a romantic. I believe in the mystery and wonder of the world. I do not feel that we should boil everything down to a science, breaking everything down into nuts and bolts and calculating things to the cent. Emerging in popular psychology are scientific studies on love and mate choice, but I do not feel that we can break down a marriage into a matter of one’s MHC. I do not feel that we should attribute falling in love to the addiction of serotonin. The magic of love is not a chemical reaction but an emotional connection. Everything is dissected and analyzed with electron microscopes under cold blue fluorescent lights. Our world is quickly turning into one concerned only about the bottom line. Wealth is the defining measure of success. International corporations now wield a great deal of power. They in turn perpetuate the cycle of self-interest.
Society reflects this self-interest. We have become increasingly selfish and isolated. The prevailing mentality is that of egocentrism. To look out for oneself is to be wise, to care for another’s welfare is to be a fool. Our own needs are above all others, and we are never wrong. Even with the versatile technology we have today, we are out of touch with one another more so now than ever. We have become obsessed with celebrities because we are no longer close to each other and therefore find the need to talk about someone familiar. I don’t care when Britney’s next period is, I don’t care that Ms. Lohan looked ridiculous coming out of her short jail sentence. It is dehumanizing to see that relatives get together only to talk about who should win on American Idol, who should get fired on The Apprentice, and just how surprised they were to see that man die off in Lost.There is very little reprieve for intellectuals in this world…more and more romantics are giving up, finding the pressure of society to be too great: fitting in becomes less and less of an option. It is turning into a necessity. Idealists fall and shape themselves to the mold of society, becoming what they expect of them. There are no more great thinkers, no more philosophers. Passion is beat down as obtrusive. There are no more artists, no more inventors. We have become a stagnant race of shapeless people, one personality indistinguishable from the next. We are sheep, our shepherds false.
Perhaps it is not comfort but solace that is found within…perhaps it is not strength but survival that is found from solitude. Loneliness cannot exist externally, for it is created by your own mind. In that case, perhaps I need only to look more carefully. But I suspect that the more deeply I search, the more disappointment I will feel. At least I will be all the more delighted when I find a kindred spirit.