On Solitude

Solitude can be a wonderful thing , as long as it is recognized that there is a difference between the need for solitude and loneliness, as well as the knowledge when one has crossed the line between one (solitude) and fallen into the depths of the other (loneliness).

I have said , and will continue to say, that I am a solitary thinker. I like being a solitary thinker. When I think, I need the silence of my own thoughts uncluttered by the clatter and clutter of the world around me to reach the insights I am capable of reaching through the process of my own thinking.

I find it perplexing that so many people are afraid of being alone. Perhaps they fear that they have no ability to think unless their space is populated by others, or that without the presence of others, they would disappear into a world of nothingness, where their existence would be meaningless and insignificant. Or perhaps they are simply afraid of being alone.

When they think and have to make a choice on some particular subject, most people tend to try and consider as many options involved that are possible. They are prepared for anything, with the goal being to reduce the potential for surprises or for uncertainty. No one likes uncertainty. It tests our confidence in the ability to handle our environment, and our capability of calling forth our personal resources in dealing with a situation we may not be prepared for. So, it’s easy to understand why thinking about options, we want to strategize and make some kind of order.

The only problem with being a solitary thinker is that we tend to regurgitate the same solutions. Since thinking is a solitary process, no new insights are possible since the elements that are contained within our thoughts are the same things we have thought about over and over again. It’s possible to gain new elements through reading, but the best way is to communicate with other people who might, in the process of conversation, leave seeds of new lines of thinking which may be taken by the solitary thinker to a new level of insight that will bring a solution that was previously not perceived.