NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
The phrase ‘no man is an island’ expresses the idea that human beings do badly when isolated from others and need to be part of a community in order to thrive. This phrase was coined from a poem written by John Donne (1572-1631).
The poem from which this phrase was adapted is as follows:
“No man is an island entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
The phrase simply enunciates the fact that human beings are social animals and our biological, psychological, and social systems evolved to thrive in collaborative networks of people. We are built to seek company.
‘No man is an Island’ has been interpreted by some people to mean that one cannot achieve anything on their own, but this is not completely true, what the phrase really means is that human beings are quite capable of achieving a great deal on their own, a great deal of evil.
Social isolation really has no advantages. Come to think of it, what is social isolation? As defined by the aging life care journal, a human being is considered socially isolated if he/she lives alone, has less than monthly contact with friends or family, and don’t belong to a group (religious congregation, club, work or volunteer organization, etc.) WhatsApp groups are not included and the same applies to all form of social media.
There are two elements of social isolation; social disconnectedness and perceived isolation. Social disconnectedness is defined as lack of contact with others while perceived isolation is defined as the subjective experience of lack of companionship and support. Social disconnectedness often occurs in people that find it hard to fit in or feel that they can’t connect or make friends, they feel left out (all the time). Perceived isolation occurs to people who have friends but still feel lonely, like though they have no one to reach out to or those who just lost a love one. Experiencing either of them can lead to harm.
Social isolation with its elements is a huge risk factor for worsening health. Studies suggest that the impact of isolation and loneliness on health and mortality are of the same order of magnitude as such risk factors as high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking. It has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, depression, suicide and death ultimately.
Hallucinations tend to follow prolonged isolation which leads to madness and suicidal thoughts.
Now, when the person is not thinking about killing themselves, all they think of is hurting others. A study by Dr. Robert Morris showed that prisoners kept in isolation are more likely to commit violent crimes when let back into the society.
According to japan times out of the 52 most violent attacks committed between the years 2000 – 2009, 33 of 52 perpetrators of the random attacks had poor or non-existent social relationships and more than 40 percent had attempted suicide before their attacks.
There aren’t many statistics in Nigeria and other African countries, but social isolation affects everyone the same way, no matter the race.
In essence, when your colleague, friend, loved one or sweetheart shouts “Leave Me Alone!” please do so for just a moment and then quickly go back. The consequences of leaving them alone might be far graver than you think.