“No man is an island, entire of itself” John Donne. Human beings are social animals, and we need each other to survive and thrive. We are connected to each other, whether through blood, contract, or just through a smile, a word, or a gesture, and that connection is important for the well-being and survival of any individual.
We all have a support system to rely on. An employer relies on his employees to keep the business going and the employees rely on their employer to offer them a safe working environment and a stable structure within which to operate.
Children rely on their parents and their siblings for love and support, and parents rely on their children to provide an endless source of love with intermittent moments of frustration and anxiety and with an expectation that their children will reciprocate all the TLC they received whilst infant by looking after them in their olden days.
Friends rely on each other for love, support encouragement, a shoulder to cry on during hard times, and lots of fun times too. Out in the wild, you can find packs of animals working as a team. We often hear the expression “I am a lone wolf.” But wolves hunt in packs.
No man is an Island and this is because people exist among other people and not purely as individual minds and as a team, we achieve more.
No man is an island; social interactions keep us sane.
Social interactions keep us sane, healthy, and on the straight and narrow road. Jordan Peterson expresses this sentiment quite well in Rule 1 of his new book ‘Beyond Order’: do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement.
The social world is embedded with wisdom and guidance. People remain mentally healthy not merely because of the integrity of their own minds, but because they are constantly being reminded how to think, act, and speak by those around them. If you begin to deviate from the straight and narrow path, if you begin to act improperly, people will react. They will give you a nasty look, mock you, criticize you, and scold you back into place.
People will constantly remind you not to misbehave and will call on you to be at your best. Why rely on our own limited resources to remember the road or to orient ourselves in new territory, when we can rely on signs and guideposts placed there so effortlessly by others? All that is left for you to do is to watch, listen and respond appropriately to the cues. And this is why Jordan Peterson advises us to immerse ourselves in the world of other people, friends, family members, colleagues, and foes alike, despite the anxiety and frustrations that social interactions often produce.
Sitting at the opposite spectrum of this is the practice of solitary confinement which is used as a form of torture. Numerous studies have confirmed that keeping someone in solitary confinement puts them at a very serious risk of descending into irreversible mental illness.
No man is an island; people depend on constant communication with others to keep their minds organized.
Jordan Peterson explains that we all need to think to keep things straight, but we mostly think by talking to other people and also by reading informative blog articles such as this one! We need to talk about the past so that we can distinguish the trivial overblown concern that otherwise plagues our thoughts from the experiences that are truly important.
We need to talk about the nature of the present and our plans for the future, so we know where we are, where we are going, and why we are going there.
We must submit the strategies and tactics we formulate to the judgment of others to ensure their efficiency and resilience. We need to listen to ourselves as we talk as well so that we may organize our reactions, motivations, and emotions into something articulate and organized and dispense with those concerns that are exaggerated and irrational.
No man is an island, entire of itself. Connecting with people around us keeps us sane and helps us survive and thrive. Some people give us happiness, some give us experience, some teach us a lesson and some give us memories.
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This is so true. People who have been cut off from human interaction, mainly through isolation of incarceration, but sometimes from abusive situations, have all suffered terribly with mental health issues. We simply can’t live our lives to the fullest without other people!
Thanks Tamara for stopping by and for your feedback. Great point you made! Like you said isolation is used as a form of torture and can create a lot of mental damage. I will find some time today to add a small reference to this for completeness. Thanks!
My pleasure! I’m grateful to have sparked a little addition! Blessings to you!
I love this post — there is a wealth of social science research that could back it up — but saying it simply and from the heart is better!
Thanks Karen for stopping by, for taking the time to comment and for your feedback. It warms my heart ❤️ 🙏. And as Charles Bukowski rightly say: “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way; an artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”
Well written. I agree with everything you said.
Thank you 🙏! So glad to have you here and thanks for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated!