We Must Also Train in Solitude

Suggestions come from many quarters on how to profitably use the time of these long days of imposed enclosure to limit the spread of the infection. the purpose is not only to keep us engaged but, obviously, also to overcome or distract us from sensations, emotions, attitudes that can have a negative effect on each of us, depending on the individual’s ability to face this forced change in lifestyle. our days.

In a previous article, I suggested to “train” patience because this “unwanted guest” doesn’t want to leave us soon!

So, I was reading an interesting article on the difference between the feeling of loneliness and depression, and I was struck by the fact that the experiences of exclusion and many conditions of loneliness are called a “form of narcissistic humiliation because they show us that we are not enough for ourselves, that we need others “and that” loneliness cannot benefit from drug therapy “. I then reflected that this seems to be consistent with the moment we are experiencing, of the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, and indirectly shows that loneliness, if it is not identifiable with a real disease treatable with drugs, actually it is nothing but a human condition.

Fortunately, especially in Italian society (but, I think, in many others), there would be effective antibodies against loneliness: associations, volunteering, parishes, bars, families, sports clubs, and many other forms of social gathering in which to find the best cure: solidarity.

Perhaps it is also the persistence in our culture of these forms of aggregations one of the factors that place us in the penultimate place in the sad ranking of the phenomenon of suicide.

Unfortunately, however, in this difficult moment, it is precisely the protective forms of aggregation that are failing. Furthermore, right now we can experience an unexpected side of loneliness: shared fear can also represent a form of social bond. Now others can pose a danger, but each of us is potentially a danger to others. Being a meter away makes us lack the necessary daily supply of humanity and, therefore, we feel it as a foreign gesture, which it is difficult to get used to, precisely because of our nature as social animals.

Instinctively, in times of difficulty, one seeks refuge in closeness and sharing, and instead at this moment, it is necessary to go against one’s instinct which would lead even more to wanting to embrace others and especially loved ones.

Now is the time for a necessary physical distance, which represents mutual protection and absolutely not an emotional distance. It is time to reverse the attitudes we are used to. Even if it is not possible to embrace and kiss, shake hands, go out together, we must all strive to remain aware of the fact that the effects are unchanged and certainly at this moment also intensified. And it is good to prepare to deal a little with the feeling of loneliness, trying to understand it, because if it is true that it can have negative effects, at the same time it can represent a moment of personal enrichment.

Someone may feel strong and surrounded by strong barriers, but the intelligent person understands that he must prepare defenses that perhaps he will never use, but which he cannot renounce, because nobody is free from the risk of encountering circumstances that put him in condition to live in solitude.

Ultimately, trying to develop new skills intended to face feelings of loneliness should still be everyone’s goal, because these are skills that will come in handy sooner or later in life.

And I conclude by adding that fortunately for contemporary generations they can count on something that previous generations have never had available: computers, the internet, social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. Although the negative aspects have often been underlined compared to what is the value of real socialization, it is true that as the situation changes, today their use no longer represents a refusal of the real meeting, but a necessary temporary replacement. In these circumstances the network shows all its socializing potential, transforming itself into a network of relationships of mutual support and solidarity.



Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


    • Thank you, a pleasure to hear from you, to know that you follow me and I fully share your thoughts.
      The Lord sees us and will help us get through this moment, but each of us must do his part.
      Take care of you.

  1. Aldo – Again, you capture the sadness we are all experiencing in your essay. My wife and I have constantly said that the worst part of this pandemic is the fact we cannot hug our daughters, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. Thanks for being a voice for us.

  2. Thank you, Aldo for your powerful words as well as your prolific writing . We are in a time like no other where we must fight our most natural instincts to hold kiss and hug those who mean so much
    We know why we can’t do the above but human nature being what it is acceptance of this temporary new normal is exceptionally difficult in addition to heartbreaking. Loneliness will not leave us alone. We seek and need love. The only way to cope with your feelings is just do what you can to keep yourself going. There is no pill or magic words. True love trumps(pardon the pun) all tests. Keep giving and sharing love as close as you can but far enough away to be safe. Somebody it will. G-d willing be okay again. Stay safe and well. Live with love.

    • Thanks Joel for following me constantly, and the wisdom of your comments.
      Fortunately I don’t suffer from loneliness and my wife is also quiet. She lacks a bit the closeness of her grandchildren for whom she always trafficked and this gave even more sense to retired life. We hear them several times a day thanks to technology.
      But I see many people who have found themselves displaced, even if only to not be free to go out when they want, to shop when they want, etc. So I reflected on the fact that loneliness is a condition to be trained in, because sooner or later life can put us in front of this situation and we must be prepared to face it, sometimes with pain.
      My grandfather, who has always been a reference for me, one day gave me a gift accompanied by this sentence:
      It is easy, in the world, to live according to the opinion of the world, just as it is easy, in solitude, to live according to ourselves. The great man is the one who, in the midst of the crowd, preserves, with perfect serenity, the independence of solitude.
      I have never forgotten it, in moments of solitude but also in dark moments.
      Thank you. And don’t leave home.