Solitude is not just self preservation. Solitude is self purification.
The famous quote, “No man is an Island” was originally from a sermon by the 17th century English author, John Donne. The context is on the natural fact that no one is entirely self-sufficient and that everyone, one way or another relies onto something or someone to survive. Christians would also claim: “man is not made to live alone”. All of the above ring truth. However, in my own experience and observation this notion is too often abused.
Today, the millennial age grow more in power of self-entitlement rooted in dependency. Being a millennial, I admit, from time to time I do indulge in such misguided power. But praised be to my olden soul and tough nurture, I outweighed the urge of squad-dependency and turned out to be independent. I believe there’s nothing wrong about having a support system from fellow humans; (though I mostly have mine in the form of art and literature) it is in fact healthy. But for one to truly experience the essence of being, one must learn to stand on his own. Not to isolate but to simply be strong enough to be one’s own island.
The German Philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer once said,
“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” —Arthur Schopenhauer
In addition to this profound thought, the French Mathematician, Blaise Pascal emphasised,
“All humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly alone in a room.” —Blaise Pascal
The words of wisdom of these men of solitude are worthy of our deepest thought now more than ever. As we indulge in the blessing of fellowships we must also learn to become an island not only for ourselves but also for others.
Artwork Title: “Man Is an Island”
By: Diana Cabales
Medium: Watercolor + Ink
Date: July 2016