More than two millenniums ago in ancient Greece, Aristotle observed that humans were social animals and needed human contact to remain healthy. There are deeper connections than drinking a beer with a buddy or going out for coffee. Perhaps the gravest consequence of all the divisiveness now destroying our country goes beyond the violence and name-calling – one side against the other.
We have forgotten the ephemeral connection that humans have with one another. Severing those threads has dire consequences. People feel isolated and begin to feel as if they have been placed in solitary confinement or in a tiger cage. Obviously, it’s not a good place to be.
One way to counteract the feeling of being isolated, of being cut off from others, is to care for others and to realize that others care for you. It doesn’t require any extreme action on your part. In this case, it really is the thought that counts.
There have been medical studies done with subjects suffering from severe illness, some supposedly in the last weeks of their life. The patients were randomized into two groups A and B. The doctors compiled general information about the patients in group A, sharing that information with a third group of volunteers, remote from the patients, asking them to pray or project positive thoughts toward the patients in group A. This was not done for the patients in group B. There was a significant improvement in the health of the first group who received positive thoughts. A few even recovered. Not so with those in “isolated” group B.
Psycho-babble. I don’t think so. Caring counts.
And so do smiles and the thoughts in your heart when you meet others. Trust me on this.
I will do my best to think of you all out there, imbedding my best wishes in these words. There are lots of us on your side. Be strong, smile, and enjoy the sunrise and sunset, knowing that having positive thoughts for others counts both for you and them.
Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, and an IBMer until downsized in 2000. He taught yoga until COVID-19 decided otherwise. He continues writing, living with his wife and beagle in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He’s a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. Ken is a writer and his literary works can be found at https://www.kmkbooks.com/
He welcomes feedback on his articles and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.