November 19, 2013

Why should I talk to you?

I don't feel a need for much of a circle of friends. This is not to say that I'm not friendly to those who I interact with. I am smiley to all, and though they may have an opinion about me, I have never sought their approval. I have no interest. I recognize that they will come and go and that most people will have no effect on my life.

My M.O. is to stay in one place until it makes sense to go elsewhere. In my current nomadic existence, this can be decided based on visas in my passport. Does it really make sense to form deep bonds when I'll soon be out of the country? Of course not. That said though, I am more than happy to chat and shoot the breeze when there is not a more important task.

Sometimes, I prefer to ignore others. This is often the case when I'm in cultures I don't like. In first world countries where I feel severely unwelcome, I keep to myself. This is not limited to locals, but also to foreigners. I will delve deep into my laptop for 14 hours per day. I may create one deep relationship and ignore the locals completely. This is also the case when I'm in super-poor third world countries where white skin is cause for persistent scamming and constant harassment. In these instances, it makes most sense to ignore everybody.

It is a strange feeling when there is someone you like who tries to bring you into the fold when you're in a non-social period. They are often persistent, but when you choose no interaction for a week or two, it can be a losing battle for the well intentioned acquaintance. This non-social period is often the result of a time when you are forced to interact with others intensely (ie: in a political campaign or on a road trip). There are times for social activity and times for recovery.

People are not scarce. There are always more people who will enter and leave your life. You can never permanently destroy your ability to meet new friends. Though there is incredible value to building relationships, sometimes solitude is the greatest friend of all.


  1. The Torah says vayomer Adonai Elohim lo tov heyot haadam levado. It means the Lord God said it is not good for man to be alone. It is true. We may have times when we want to be left alone, but it is not good for man to be alone. Eventually we will be lonely. Some of us are more social than others, but we need relationships with others as well as solitude. Men are social animals, like dogs, only with the capacity to do nobler things with others than dogs can do.

  2. Interaction does not have to be the default. The empty space created by being alone has value that is not well understood in the West.

  3. Do eastern religions really hold that the individual together with empty space are sufficient? Doesn't yin require yang to be complete? From my ignorance, I theorize that even in eastern religion, empty space is merely an interim stage to completeness. Yin requires yang. Everything requires its foil, its ezer kenegdo (Genesis 2:18), to be complete. Each individual requires a partner to complete him or her.

  4. For any given day, a person's energy resources are limited. Superficial relationships with repetitive and unsubstantial interaction waste energy that could be used for building a business, a skill or a deep relationship. The partner you suggest as important must be distinguished from acquaintances which the blog post is specifically addressing.