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*Why stay alone?*

People, today are getting increasingly isolated. To the extent that a large number of folks consider this state of isolation absolutely normal. In a technologically driven world and immersed in their mobiles, tablets, PCs, and televisions, people don't even realise when this separation crept in. Digitally communicating, people are under the impression that they are still a part of the larger collective society. But that is not the case. People have to wake up to the fact that they are slowly moving towards a state of loneliness.

Data is so easily accessible on the net. Thus, students too generously make use of technology to study as well as for doing their academic projects. It is more convenient for them to use the digital platform than doing it in work books. Then again, the internet has also become an indispensable tool for individuals seeking or doing jobs as well as for big companies. With increasing global warming, it is very important to save trees and other plant life, which form the flora and fauna that will help counter this threat. Hence, offices are going paperless by making widespread use of computerised systems. This has created a kind of barrier amongst people, which is separating them from each other. Resultantly, this is bringing up continuous serious issues in the society. The very student, who utilizes the net for his academics, also simultaneously utilizes the net for gaming, chatting, surfing, kinship and for all sorts of social media that exist on the net. Such a lifestyle corrupts an individual from within and s/he can only understand its impact after a very long time.

The aftereffect of all this is that individuals are turning irritable, anxious and impatient. People live cocooned within their turtle-like shells resulting in individuals experiencing various lifestyle related illnesses. Studies have shown that at the root of these illnesses is loneliness. Cardiovascular illness has on the rise in the general public because of this disconnect. Loneliness has also been found to increase inflammation, which is extremely dangerous for the heart.

Loneliness has also been found to be one of the major causes of cancer. The reason being an individual living alone has unusually high amounts of stress hormones, which increase the risk of cancer. Apart from this, psychological ailments like dementia, craziness, aggression, etc are also linked to loneliness. Also, lonely people are found to have self-destructive tendencies. Dr Vivek Murthy has written an insightful book named 'Together'. It is a kind of a mirror for our times. In the book, he encourages people to stay together not just to keep away from depression and loneliness, but to also become more resilient.

The recently concluded Pramukh Swami Maharaj centenary festival, held at Ahmedabad in 2022-2023 was celebrated with magnificence, with the intention to gather individuals from all over the world and from all walks of life. The motivating principle was that people meet and converse with each another. There used to be long queues to watch the shows. Yet, even that became a medium for total strangers to come together and foster a common bond. More than one crore and 21 lakh individuals partook of this immensely divine occasion, and every single heart found peace. People were eased up by even the most basic and light conversations like, " How are you?" " what's happening?" What's up?'' Anything new?' ' which show is worth seeing?' Or Have u seen the light and sound show?'. Small everyday light exchanges like these can make a big positive impact on people which guards them from being isolated as well as secures them to a great extent from deteriorated health conditions by making them stress free.

Somebody once asked Pramukh Swami Maharaj that did you at any point considering going away from this crowd and living in solitude? Swamiji Smilingly said that, that wouldn't be suitable for him since he was a people centric person. And true to his word, he was always among people to ensure their well being and their eventual welfare. Everyone of us is a human, and it will only benefit us to be people centric. Since, we are more than 7 billion on this planet, and there is no benefit in staying alone, why stay alone?.

Thanks Giving

This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Sadhu Amrutvadandas. We thank swamiji for his research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about life and peace being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.

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