The Courage of Solitude: How taking time for yourself can make you a better person

In today’s society of constantly being connected and “plugged in” it’s hard to find moments for peace and quiet. Because we are continuously bombarded with texts, social events and social media, it’s easy to let ourselves becoming a façade. Life becomes more about the act or the show then who we really are.

Our culture is one where “the show must go on.” There is no room for smelling the roses. Nowadays, it’s ridiculous to stop and enjoy the simple things in life because the simple things are gone. Our world has become a place where we don’t really know each other and we only know about us through our post Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Is it really a shock that our divorce rate is so high, that identity theft is prevalent, and that parents can no longer let their children spend the night at a friend’s house without fear of what might happen? We are creatures living on the surface, but what’s underneath it all.

Solitude allows a person to discover themselves, for better or worse. Solitude allows a person to explore their greatest fears, deepest desires, or work through their most painful memory. Young people today don’t want to experience solitude, they are afraid to be alone with themselves because they fear the unknown. What if they don’t like who they are, what they’ve become or the choices they’ve made?

When we lose solitude we lose the ability to examine the wisdom (or lack of) of our conduct, and we lose a sense of our own depth – cheating ourselves and publishing personal details about our lives through social media. When you share every experience there’s no privacy, and without privacy nothing becomes sacred or special. Solitude helps us balance the struggles we deal with internally with the challenges we face externally; solitude fortifies our character and integrity.

Without solitude, how can someone be a human being worth knowing? How can a person transcend the façade and become someone with depth, someone with a story, someone to connect with. Without solitude, can we even connect with each other at all?

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