Fighting Loneliness, Isolation and Lack of Purpose

Part 4 of 7

Nations full of good people understand that they can enhance the value of their own lives by working together and building collaborative communities. As this happens, fewer people are isolated and alone. These ways of organizing to solve structural and/or social challenges are multi-age experiences that should involve every member of the society.

It doesn’t matter where you live you must be involved with groups working to improve and enrich the quality of lives. What COVID taught us is that individuals working in isolation have extremely high suicide rates. The rise of self-inflicted death rates is alarming, especially the percentage of deaths of young girls. Young men, veterans, and the homeless find that the final solution to their anguish is death. In almost every one of these tragic cases, isolation due to the lack of belonging to a supportive community focused on collaboration and problem solving can be identified as a major cause of their inability to fight futility.

In our society we remove young people from the society and the broad spectrum of multi-age, multi-generational contacts that humans need. Many have never learned how to join or form communities that provide positive support systems. If they had these experiences and this information it is likely they would not feel that there is no purpose to life. In tourist-centered towns like Sedona, communities have formed around artists, business owners, developers, and educators. Moving into a new community it may seem like all the slots are already filled with others. On closer examination, one usually finds that they are needed. If they have children, especially young children, there are always ways they can be involved to support the educational programs. If they are adults, they have many more options. However, if they are teenagers, they soon learn that they are not needed. What the greater communities have not learned is that if young people are not involved as part of the community, they form gangs and other support systems that often show their contempt by acts like spray painting graffiti, defacing public restrooms, and committing status crimes. They often direct their frustration into self-abuse.

(Continued in Part 5: