“You call it being alone. I call it enjoying my own company.” -Author Unknown
“They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts.” -Philip Sidney (1554 - 1586)
“I was never less alone than when by myself.” -Edward Gibbon (1737 - 1794): “Memoir” (1796), Volume 1, page 117
“People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don’t think that’s true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.” -Kim Culbertson: “The Liberation of Max McTrue” (3 January 2012) at https://kimculbertson.com/
Jered: Why are bananas never lonely?
Derek: Because they hang around in bunches!
“When they are alone they want to be with others, and when they are with others they want to be alone. After all, human beings are like that.” -Gertrude Stein (1874 - 1946)
Sometimes I like to be alone
And look up at the sky
And think my thoughts inside my head -
Just me, myself, and I.
by Mary Ann Hoberman (born 1930)
“In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people.” -Judy Garland (pseudonym of Frances Ethel Gumm (1922 - 1969)): as quoted in Barbara Rowes: “The Book of Quotes” (1979)
“Dear sidewalk, please get wider. Sincerely, third friend walking behind feeling excluded.” -Author Unknown
“More than any other human problem, loneliness, the absence of meaningful human connection, drains the joy and sense of purpose from our lives. It explains why people go to shopping centers when they have no intention of shopping. They just need to be somewhere where other people are, hoping that among the hundreds of strangers passing by, they will find one familiar face. It explains why people come home from work or school and immediately switch on the television. They are not interested in the program much of the time, they do not even know what is on. But they are desperate for the sound of another human voice in their lives.” -Harold Kushner (Harold Samuel Kushner (born 1935))
“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” -Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 - 1900))
How to Deal with Loneliness
- Adopt a pet.
- Take up a hobby or a cause.
- Keep busy with whatever you can find to do.
- Help others or become a volunteer.
- Make friends of strangers.
- Go to places where other people go.
What can you add to this list?
“Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.” -Albert Einstein
“Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.” -Edward Gibbon (1737 - 1794)
“Loneliness is the way by which destiny endeavors to lead man to himself.” -Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962): “Reflections” (1974), number 196
“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” -Joseph F. Newton (Joseph Fort Newton (1878 - 1949))
“The pain of loneliness is normal, and is felt by everyone, and is nature’s way of telling us that we are meant to be with others of our own kind.” -David Hugh Beaumont (born 1966)
“It’s better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.” -Diane Grant (born 1939)
“There is a French proverb: To live happy, live hidden. Where can Brigitte Bardot hide?” -Brigitte Bardot (born 1934)
“Grant me the ability to be alone, may it be my custom to go outdoors each day among the trees and grasses, among all growing things, and there may I be alone, and enter into prayer to talk with the one that I belong to.” -Nachman of Breslov (1772 - 1810)
“One can acquire everything in solitude - except character.” -Stendhal (pseudonym of Marie-Henri Beyle (1783 - 1842))
“I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be left alone.’ There is all the difference.” -Greta Garbo (Greta Lovisa Gustafsson (1905 - 1990))
A guy was lonely and so he decided life would be more fun if he had a pet. He went to the pet store and told the owner that he wanted to buy an unusual pet. After some discussion, he finally bought a centipede (a one-hundred-legged bug), which came in a little white box to use for its house. He took the box back home, found a good location for the box, and decided he would start off by taking his new pet to a restaurant to have a meal. “Would you like to go to Frank’s Diner with me and have a bite to eat?” he asked the centipede in the box. But there was no answer from his new pet. This bothered him a bit, but he waited a few minutes and then asked him again, “How about going out and having a snack with me?” But again, there was no answer from his new friend and pet. So he waited a few minutes more, thinking about the situation. He decided to ask him one more time - this time putting his face up against the centipede’s house and shouting, he said, “Hey, in there! Would you like to go get some food with me?” A tiny little voice came squeaking out of the box in reply, “I heard you the first time! I’m putting on my shoes.”
“It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.” -Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
“I like to be alone, but I dislike being lonely.” -Author Unknown
“Loneliness is the most terrible poverty.” -Teresa of Calcutta (also known as Mother Teresa (born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (1910 - 1997)))
“Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.” -Paul Tournier (1898 - 1986)
“The difference between solitude and loneliness is the quality of the company we keep.” -Author Unknown
“No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know none who cares or understands.” -Arthur H. Stainback (Arthur House Stainback (1909 - 1994))
“Don’t try to hog loneliness and keep it all to yourself. Share it with a special someone.” -Jarod Kintz (born 1982)
“You keep a lot to yourself because it’s difficult to find people who understand.” -Author Unknown
“If I’m such a legend, why am I so lonely?” -Judy Garland (pseudonym of Frances Ethel Gumm (1922 - 1969))
“The finest hours of life are not those spent among groups of people, but in good conversation with a few, in reading good books, in listening to great music, wandering in a forest of giant Sequoias, peering into a microscope, unraveling Nature’s secrets in a laboratory. The men who have the most to give their fellow men are those who have enriched their minds and hearts in solitude. It is a poor education that does not fit a man to be alone with himself.” -Joel Henry Hildebrand (1881 - 1983)
“In a world full of people we are alone.” -Author Unknown
“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.” -May Sarton (pseudonym of Eleanore Marie Sarton (1912 - 1995))
“One form of loneliness is to have a memory and no one to share it with.” -Phyllis Rose (born 1942 as Phyllis Davidoff): ‘Hers’ article published in the “New York Times” (3 May 1984) newspaper, Section C, page 2
“Even in the presence of others he was completely alone.” -Robert M. Pirsig (Robert Maynard Pirsig (born 1928))
“The quiet and solitary man apprehends the inscrutable. He seeks nothing, holds to the mean, and remains free from entanglements.” -I Ching (B.C.E. 1150)
“The truth is that we all know something about loneliness, and that includes even those who might not know what they are feeling when they feel lonely.” -Author Unknown
“My husband, a forester, often has to consult property owners to determine boundary lines. Walking up a dirt road to question one such individual, he encountered signs reading, ‘No Trespassing,’ ‘Beware of Dog,’ and ‘Keep Out - This Means You!’ Finally, arriving at the door, he talked with the congenial, cooperative landowner. When my husband was ready to leave, the man said to him, ‘Come and see me again sometime. I don’t get many visitors up this way.’ The lesson is simple: Ask yourself, am I lonely because of the ‘messages’ I am sending out?” -Author Unknown
“The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.” -Norman Cousins (1915 - 1990)
“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” -Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910))
“City life: Millions of people being lonesome together.” -Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
“The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.” -Henrik Ibsen (Henrik Johan ‘Henrik’ Ibsen (1828 - 1906))
“What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?” -George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Anne Evans, possibly also known as Marian Evans Cross (1819 - 1880)): “Middlemarch” (1871)
“Learn to enjoy your own company. You are the one person you can count on living with for the rest of your life.” -Ann Richards
William Osler (1849 - 1919), visiting one of London’s leading children’s hospitals, noticed that in a convalescent ward all the children were clustered at one end of the room dressing their dolls, playing games, and playing in the sandbox - all except for one little girl, who sat forlornly on the edge of her high, narrow bed, clutching a cheap doll. The great physician looked at the lonely little figure, then at the ward nurse. “We’ve tried to get Susan to play,” the nurse whispered, “but the other children just won’t have anything to do with her. You see, no one comes to see her. Her mother is deceased, and her father has been here just once - he brought her that doll. The children have a strange code. Visitors mean so much. If you don’t have any visitors, you are ignored.” William walked over to the child’s bed and asked in a voice loud enough for the others to hear, “May I sit down, please?” The little girl’s eyes lit up. “I can’t stay very long this visit,” Osler went on, “but I have wanted to see you so badly.” For five minutes he sat talking with her, even inquiring about her doll’s health and solemnly pulling out his stethoscope to listen to the doll’s chest. And as he left, he turned to the youngster and said in a carrying voice, “You won’t forget our secret, will you? - and mind, don’t tell anyone.” At the door he looked back. His new friend was now the center of a curious and admiring throng.
“When you have shut your doors and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone; for you are not alone, but God is within and your genius is within.” -Epictetus (about C.E. 55 - about C.E. 135): “Discourses,” Book I, chapter 14
“Great minds are like eagles and build their nest in some lofty solitude.” -Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)
“Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” -Paul Tillich (Paul Johannes Tillich (1886 - 1965)): “The Eternal Now,” page 11
“I owe everything that I have done to the fact that I am very much at ease being alone.” -Marilynne Robinson
“Your thought is easily influenced by the presence of another soul; a person can be completely free only when he is alone.” -Leo Tolstoy
“The worst solitude is to have no real friendships.” -Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)
“A high degree of loneliness is an inexorable part of being a sensitive and intelligent human. It’s a built-in feature of a complex existence.” -Alain de Botton
“Loneliness is not lack of company, loneliness is lack of purpose.” -Guillermo Maldonado
“A man thinking or working is always alone.” -Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
“Some people can’t stand being alone. I love solitude and silence. But when I come out of it, I’m a regular talking machine. It’s all or nothing for me.” -Celine Dion
“I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.” -Audrey Hepburn (Audrey Hepburn-Ruston (1929 - 1993))
“I remember being alone a lot as a child, and I still love to be alone.” -Cindy Williams (Cynthia Jane ‘Cindy’ Williams (born 1947))
“I secretly enjoy being alone - hiking alone, skiing alone, walking along the beach alone, going to movies alone. Do not get me wrong, I like sharing my life with other people, but sometimes I really enjoy being as alone as possible.” -Josh Zuckerman
“The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which makes you lonely.” -Lorraine Hansberry
“I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone.” -George Gordon Noel Byron (also known as Lord Byron (1788 - 1824))
“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” -Diane Von Furstenberg
“The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.” -Hugh MacLeod
“Alternate between the solitary and the social. Whether alone or with others, keep serenity.” -Deng Ming-Dao
“One of the most important things you can do on this Earth is to let people know they are not alone.” -Shannon L. Alder at https://www.shannonalder.com/
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