It was some random link that someone sent me on Twitter – can’t remember who – but there is some excellent stuff here that could definitely feed into our discussion. I’m going to quote their precise here. Would love to know what you think:
“We think of ourselves as rugged, self-determining individualists, but our very existence rests on connected brains and minds. Social species such as ours do not fare well when forced to live solitary lives, and the impact of loneliness on individuals can be surprisingly damaging. Residents of transient communities and isolated individuals lack rich attachments, meaningful connections and enriching encounters, which can be deleterious on a physiological as well as psychological level.
An individual’s complete involvement in a thriving, engaged and altruistic community is more than spiritually beneficial. As a social species, humans create emergent organisations beyond the individual—structures that range from dyads, families, and groups to cities, civilisations, and international alliances. These emergent structures evolved hand-in-hand with supporting genetic, neural, and hormonal mechanisms because the consequent social behaviors helped humans survive, reproduce, and care for offspring sufficiently long that they too survived to reproduce. We are only now beginning to truly understand the ramifications of our individualistic lifestyles, as our social brains struggle to cope with isolation, loneliness and failing communities.
Join Professor John Cacioppo, author of the bestselling book Loneliness and co-founder of the study of ‘social neuroscience’ as he outlines the vital importance of altruistic behaviour, social connection, and inclusive communities in this exclusive and important RSA event.”