December 20, 2006

The thin line between solitude and loneliness

I always love referring to the dictionary when I have no clue as to what a word means, the reason being that it gives the meaning that is farthest removed from what I am looking for. In fact when I looked up the words solitude and loneliness, they were synonyms. But there exists a world of difference between the two.

Man is a social animal and needs to be with other people. This has meant that more times than not, he seems to be happier when he is in a group, where there are more people, indulging in the presence of one and another and hanging out. This can mean different things for different people. For some this may mean having a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop, for some this may be talking about the movie that they went to last night, for some this can be the hot girl that they are dating, while others this can be a chance to bounce their ideas of each other.

It has always been said that a person can achieve more when he is in a group, where there is a healthy competition. This is mainly because one tries to out do the other. This does not mean that they adopt any method necessary to outperform the others in the group. This means that they shall give all their efforts to beat the other person. In case that they fail to do so, they are not fazed. They are happy that some one in the team has done what was necessary.

As far as the personal side of life goes, it is obvious. Every one seems to need someone that they can pour their hearts to, some one who can listen to them. I remember I have a friend, a very close one who used to use me as a sounding board. What she used to do was nice. She used to come to my place and start talking about the things that used to worry her. All I had to do was, keep listening. When she was done, she was clearer in her head as to what she had to do to overcome what ever was troubling her. More than anything, when you have someone that listens to you, I guess that it makes what you are churning in your head much lighter.

Many a time, I have noticed that the thing that is bothering me is so insignificant; it need not be worried about at all. This is something that I would not have been able to see on my own. Thanks to the perception that I trust enough to share my thoughts, I would be able to see that.

At the end of a day, I guess that it helps to have someone that cares to lend an ear. In addition, to have someone on whose shoulder you can lay a shoulder is wonderful.

Anyone that craves for the above and does not get it is said to be lonely.

Unfortunately, I would not know all this. I have never been able to sustain myself in a group that had more than three people, preferably with one absent.

I have become a person who does not need this. Rather, I guess that I work better when I am alone, when the only one that I need to talk to is I. Is that being asocial? Does that mean that I am a snob?

I do not have answer to all this. All I can say is that I prefer my company to people with whom I do not share any interests. Even when I am with people that I share interests with, I am more silent. I talk in bursts. My mind wanders as does theirs. I am at my most creative (if I can be called creative that is) when I am alone.

I guess that I yearn for solitude. This is a state of mind more than a physical existence. One can be in a fair and yet be alone. I guess there is only a thin line that pushes person in solitude over to loneliness, his desire to be or not to be in the company of others. If he thinks that all that matters to him is he and does not give a damn what others think, he is in solitude. Else he goes about trying to influence what others think about him and gives more care to what others think of him than he does of himself, I guess that he will fall into loneliness when he is alone.

Solitude is you looking at the stars, lying on your back on the grass, with your best friend, not talking a word for hours, and yet feeling that you have been talking. It is when you are happy to be alone, as happy as you are in others company.

Solitude is - knowing you, finding you and living it, Loneliness is searching for you in others and not finding it. There is just that thin line that separates them; that line is in your head.

2 comments:

Uttara said...

makes a HELL lot of sense..it really does..taht was a n aweosme post....seriously....best u ahve written i wud say....

Rajaraman said...

solitude by choice but lonliness is thrust upon by ones ownself by his action and behaviour. if he is frendly sensitive and caring he need not be lonly others will throng to be with him so there cannot be any lonliness.

Solitude brings fresshness tom a person, makes him think afress and allows time for him to introspect and permits course correction if required. BUt lonlines makes a person sick, saddist and rigid, more so when he feels that he is lonely