I recently heard an anthropologist speak about one of the biggest problems that 1st world countries face today-lack of purposeful adversity.
The modern era houses the biggest pandemic of suicide and depression in the human species since the beginning of time. Although we have all this technology and modern medicine, we are unable to treat those who fall down into depression and suicide.
Why is this?
Anthropologists show about how in pre-modern days, the societies back then had social structures of where one’s worth is measured by one’s contribution to society. The first takeaway was that everybody had something to do that had a direct positive effect on their community. They had a role to fill, and people were dependent to varying degrees on the individuals ability to fulfill their role. The more effective and efficient the individual was at executing their role, the higher the social status and claim they had. The second part was the size of the communities. The communities were anywhere from 25 to 250 individuals. And back then, people did not wander from community to community, instead they usually stayed with their pack until death. This developed a level of friendship and trust not seen today.
The absence of the 2 social structures, anthropologists argue, are the cause of the rising suicide and depression rates. It was not until the last century where an individual can walk around a city of millions of people, and not talk to a single person. Before, the society was driven by the community, but today, in our capitalist society, everyone is working for themselves. And although I am all for capitalism, the connection between individuals has been lost in the single pursuit of success.
It has now become social norm to keep to yourself, and not reach out and burden someone with your own problems. If you have an illness, you are merely suppose to drug yourself until you get better. In the old days, there was so little privacy, that if you were depressed, you would not have been able to escape talking about it, or even think of not talking about it with your neighbors.
The rich, with their huge mansions and yachts, are filled with emptiness and depressions, because they purchased all those things at the price of their community and social life. The market prices solitude at a higher rate than good communities. We should not only be inspecting the houses we buy, but also the neighbors next to us. Ask yourself, “Do I want to trust this person?”.
It is sad that with all this technological advancement we have to give up our social interactions.
So here is what I recommend~
Whenever you have the opportunity to talk to someone, put down your phone, and look them in the eye when you talk to them. Take this opportunity to try to anchor this relationship, and try to mold it into a bond of trust and camaraderie. Your picture of success should not be just you in a mansion. Instead it should be you and a group of friends living in a row of mansions haha.
Success is not success if you do not have anybody to share it with. Create a community, then contribute to it.
It’s that simple,