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This month I share a few thoughts on loneliness because above all other complaints I believe this is an arm of the human condition that can swing to the deepest pervasive malady. It's experienced by all peoples worldwide and admitting to it may be a good start to dealing with it.

Like most people I've known times of loneliness even in my younger years. There were and still are creative times I experience when alone. However, as seniors perhaps we are more prone to social isolation and loneliness than the younger set. Ross Peters of the Centre on Ageing at the University of Victoria BC offers an explanation for this. Peters doesn't disclose a magic pill to rid us of the “ L ” disease but factors such as friends, neighbours, leisure activities, and research address loneliness in a positive sense. Judging by some lifestyles and the amounts and kinds of substances used to keep from feeling lonely it would seem there's a lot of work to do to "tame the pain". Relentless popular music cries out “ I can't live without you.” To make matters worse studies associate loneliness with a “ unhealthful connection with money, blown up hopes, and tiresome efforts to keep up with the Joneses.” The other side of this is as Peters suggests when we sensibly respect the value of money seniors who suffer financial hardship and consequently feel more lonely can benefit considerably with some supportive cash allowance.

The notion of work to improve mental states may be suitable for people who would prefer to exercise their creativity in place of just watching television or handling a cell phone.

To begin, I will ask if you could make a choice between turning off your cell phone or your television for five minutes so that you are not distracted in any way. Close your eyes, feel the silence, and then form a picture in your imagination. Let the picture change to other images. With a little practice, you may also do this just before sleeping. You might begin to feel a pleasant inner stillness. You can go back and turn on the television or cell when you're ready and perhaps make another “ choice” tomorrow to experience more silence and stillness. What would you do if you found your movies more interesting to “watch” than those on the television? If you enjoy this activity how does loneliness affect you. ©

Resources

"Snapshot" by Ross Peters
Affluenza in American Society

Loneliness: The Human Condition

Date

June 15, 2012

Author

James Kershaw

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Jim Kershaw says

January 1, 2017

Progress has been made since I completed this project. Tonight I heated up a dinner in a paper bag in the oven. It was easy to open.

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