Thursday, 7 March 2013

Do We Really Need Others to Survive?

"When we survey our lives and endeavors, we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires is bound up with the existence of other human being," observed the well known scientist Albert Einstein. He added: "We eat food that others have produced, wear clothes that others have made, lives in houses that others have built...The individual is what he is and has the significance that he has not so much in virtue of his individuality, but rather as a member of a great human community, which directs his material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave."

In the animal world, it is common to observe instinctive companionship. Elephants and cattle move about in herds, carefully guarding their young. Ant lives in colonies, sharing common goals and assignment. Lionesses hunt together and share their food with the males. Dolphins play together and have even protected other animals or swimmers in distress.

Among humans, however, social scientists have noted a tendency that causes growing concern. They observed that there is a rapidly growing tendency for many to isolate themselves. People want to live their own lives and strongly resist having others invade their space. The view has been expressed that this attitude has led human society to be more prone to emotional problems, depression, and suicide.
In this regard, Dr Goleman stated: "Social isolation, the notion that one doesn't have anyone else with whom to share private feelings or maintain close contact doubles the possibility of sickness or death." A report published in the journal science concluded that social isolation is as significant to mortality rates as the habit of smoking, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, obesity, and the of physical exercise.

For various reasons then, we really do need others. We cannot stand alone. Man, by nature, is a gregarious animal and hence he lives in the company of his fellow human being, where he draws and extracts nourishment for sustenance and livelihood. Life becomes easy and free flowing when it is associatively supported, upheld and fulfilled. Any man who tries or aims at succeeding alone has failure as a byproduct. Albert Einstein observes, "Almost the whole of our actions and desires is bound up with existence of other human beings." Juanita Bynum, the gospel musician, got an inspiration on this topic and she sang one of her famous songs "I NEED YOU TO SURVIVE."

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