Throughout the course of our history, man has always tried to be part of a community, tribe, society. He always tried to be with others, perhaps because he understood well before the film „Into the wild“ was released that happiness is really real only when it is shared.
Then something happened. It has happened that man, in many areas of the world, has found himself with a wellness never seen before. After years of bloody wars, disease and poverty, people of the people were suddenly able to enjoy possibilities that were once an exclusive issue of nobles and wealthy people.
Instead of celebrating this great leap forward with others, man has decided to close in on himself and transform his existence into a great celebration of his ego.
We were convinced that happiness was no longer a collective issue, but a strictly personal issue. It happened because technological progress has led us to have very powerful tools that somehow led us to believe we can do without the others.
Despite (or because of?) All the well-being we enjoy, for the first time the human being has decided not to take refuge in the tribe but in solitude. A solitude characterized by a thousand technologies that give us the impression of never being alone, despite not having anyone around us.
Most of the underlying causes of depression depend on the lack of connection and human contact. From loneliness, in fact. A spiral in which it is very easy to end but from which it is very difficult to get out, because with each passing day you seem to have closed yourself even more in yourself.
Human society, from the beginning to the industrial revolution, was centered on small groups. The primitive communities were made up of a maximum of 35 people. If you are few, each performs a fundamental function for the community and it becomes difficult to isolate subjects. To surround and kill an animal you need to be a group and work together, starving yourself. Then these groups began to gather together, and often the mergers were not painless, just think of the Ten Commandments that were born precisely at the joining of the tribes of Israel, to make them get along even served the intervention of a „divine law“, or rules that were not dictated by the stronger group to the others, but that came from another and higher entity. However, in villages and courts for centuries society was still made up of gathered groups. With the industrial revolution and the concentration of the masses around the industries and the birth of modern cities the group expands and nobody is more indispensable.
A widespread phenomenon in Japan that extremes this loneliness is hikikomori, these are teenagers who isolate themselves in their room and no longer go out, not even to eat.
It is very difficult to bring out a teenager who falls into this form of disorder. The most successful therapies involve a very slight reintegration of sociality into their life, or through a „loan sister“ (as they call it in Japan), or a girl who is sitting outside the door and every now and then whispers a sentence. Solitude sought as an escape against the evils of the world becomes the most serious evil.
In a moment of despair, towards the end of his life, the German writer Goethe – who apparently had many friends – bitterly exclaimed: „Nobody has ever really understood me, I have never fully understood anyone; and nobody understands anyone else“ .
This outburst of a notable person can help us. It is not our fault: a certain degree of distance and mutual incomprehension is not a sign that life has gone wrong; that’s what we should expect from the start. And when we do, we can reap the benefits.
Once we accept loneliness, we are able to develop our creativity. We can start sending „bottled messages“: we can sing, write poems, create blogs and produce books … After realizing that the people around us will never be able to fully understand each other, we can immerse ourselves in activities that put us in contact with others who – perhaps – will be more in tune with us.