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In the Grand Scale of Things, Loneliness Is a Privilege - David Whyte

In the Grand Scale of Things, Loneliness Is a Privilege – David Whyte

Too often today we look for ways to distract ourselves. From run-of-the-mill social networks, to TV and video games we’ve learned to abhor silence. Even people become outlets to alleviate loneliness. Which is to say sometimes we don’t necessarily like the people we’re around, and yet we prefer them to being alone.

Fear drives us away from ourselves because we are afraid of who we are. The thought of confronting who you are is terrifying. No one wants to look under the hood of their own mind. It goes against our Western, Puritan, senses. We project what others want to see and avoid the nasty secrets that only come to light when we have a spare moment to ourselves; a moment to actually think without the external pressures of society.

Our fear, and the ugly perceptions we carry when faced with solitude need to change. Nothing genuine can ever happen if you’re not alone. Nothing meaningful will ever be created if you don’t give yourself time to confront your demons. In a world always on and never off, loneliness, now more than ever, needs to be embraced; both openly and in private so that our real voice can surface. It’s time we start facing our fears, and use our alone time to have a genuine conversations with ourselves.

In the Grand Scale of Things, Loneliness Is a Privilege – David Whyte
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About Nicholas Shahbazi

2 Brains 1 Mind is coauthored by Nicholas Shahbazi and Daniel Herrin. Nicholas teaches English composition and rhetoric just outside of Denver, Colorado, and Daniel is a practicing lawyer, of Herrin Law Firm, in the Dallas, Texas area. Come check us out at www.2brains1mind.org


  1. Not arguing but humans are inherently social and solitude doesn’t always come naturally. I’m an introvert but still don’t necessarily like to be alone. I agree that I benefit from my long runs where I can be introspective in my thoughts.

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more. So pertinent to my current condition. I hate being alone because I don’t want to face my own insecurities. I have started spending sometime with myself so I can talk to myself and sort the feelings out. It has been very therapeutic.

  3. I have always enjoyed my alone times. Since my husband and I are semi-retired it’s hard to find those times to enjoy my quiet writing times or my garden and yard work. Although I enjoy running around with my husband (he likes to run around when he is home), I miss having those alone times when I had the privilege of being a homemaker for several years before I started a career.

  4. It’s hard to carve out some alone time sometimes. I’ve recently started meditating again though. Twice a day and no excuses. I feel so much better. I honestly think I was starting to forget who I was – or wanted to be.

  5. This is an excellent post! Such wisdom you have presented here. I, too, feel as though we should seek solitude, that we shouldn’t be afraid of loneliness. From being alone comes much insight, always. Thank you for sharing this. D.S.

  6. So very true. Excellent reflections on taking the time to get to know ourselves- especially that it can be scary but worthwhile. Well put.

  7. Right on point. Living in a bed, I am isolated quite alot even though I am completely dependent upon others to survive. As a writer, and one full of fears because of past and present traums, However, it is in my solitude that I am able to face my fears and spill my blood as I transparently pen my traumas. I am thankful for this. And I appreciate your post. It is convicting in a most encouraging way. Thank you.

  8. There is a large difference between being lonely and being alone. While I fully agree that being alone is needed in everyday life, prolonged periods of loneliness isn’t mentally healthy, and lead to unhealthy stress.

  9. very interesting and mostly true. I think more and more people are beginning to wake up and realize that this fast paced commercial money driven world is not what life is all about. I have been reading The Power of Now a lot lately, a wonderful and awakening book. I have great hope and faith in human kind that someday soon more people will be awake than are asleep and the world will be free to be the wonderful place the creator meant it to be. Until then I will try to contribute my positive energy to benefit the common good. I have been heartbroken for the last few months but think I am finally moving beyond that… I can only hope and keep trying. Much peace and light to you and thank you for reading my poems, your visits mean a lot to me. Michelle

  10. So true! It honestly freaks me out how much I dislike the silence like I’m always looking for something to not think too much about the deep stuff that’s going on. Love the way you explained it!

  11. I always enjoyed my own solitude, but I used things (tv, books) to cover up the silence. I have now come to embrace the joy of seeking inside and realising that our power lies within – it’s not the scary place that our minds want us to think it is. The great thing is that now I am more comfortable on my own I am far more comfortable with other people and find that I can make deeper connections. Love this article, thank you

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