Do you feel that -- The Emptiness?

The loss of community is making life almost unbearable

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Will this slogan go down as the most tone-deaf and damaging to the souls of people and to the fabric of society in the history of America?

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And alive but alone is not going to cut it.

Just knowing others are going through something shared but you’re not allowed to see them is only comforting for a time. Say, two weeks. 

Or 15 days in government-speak.

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Plus one ≠ enough

Jesus of Nazareth of course had a few disciples that he was closer to than the others — Peter and John to name two — but how many overall were part of his ministry team?

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“My happiest hours are often spent sitting up to the small hours in someone’s college room talking nonsense, poetry, theology, metaphysics over beer, tea and pipes. There’s no sound I like better than adult male laughter.” — C.S. Lewis

How have we let this necessity of life become rarer than

a Brooklyn coffee shop without hipsters inside?

Are we afraid to admit we need people?

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This photographer noticed it

Just five months before the now famous year of twenty-twenty, Eric Pickersgill released his ‘removed’ series — pictures of people together on their phones yet without the phones:

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Shocking right?

OK --

  1. Response to a global pandemic

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But Brett McKay (Art of Manliness) sums up why this might not be so great:

“Twenge notes that iGen’ers are not just concerned about physical safety, but emotional safety as well. And this carefulness, which Millennials also evince, and which extends to avoiding any anxious, or awkward, or hurt feelings, creates a trepidation about pursuing things of real significance — paths that lead to healthy adventure, personal growth, and vital fulfillment in many of life’s domains.

Which domains?

You guessed it -- relationships.


Lest we think

This is only an iGen problem think again:

Happiness has been declining for decades, and though economics and politics and social issues are all valid concerns and *partial* reasons, what’s one salve we at least know relieves tension and allows us to feel moored as opposed to untethered, despite outer conflicts that will always be here?



I bumped into a friend who had just bought his first house and yet feels completely empty. After the usual updates on the new purchase, a few unexpected expenses, travel that had left him a bit worn down, he said what I suspected.

And this isn’t

An isolated incident or a made-up anecdote. I also spoke to a batch of other friends on my recent travels, two female and four male, and though some are “doing fine,” bottom line is all of them have less community than they did five years ago. Married. Single. All of them. Ditto my mom and step dad. Ditto almost everyone I know.

We need community.

We know we need community.


So how do we do it?

I’m so glad you asked!

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I have a simple five-step process that I have personally done so I know it works.

  1. Get over yourself (if you need to), reject the trending zeitgeist of self-serving individualism and admit you need community.
  2. Take out a piece of paper right now and right down one or two people you either want to see or think might need to see you on this night. Then write two more blank lines below — you’ll fill them in time. I realize this sounds basic but just do it. Take the word of someone who’s name means old friend* and believe me when I say writing it down will help you forget about yourself and think of others. And that’s what needs to happen.
  3. Run errands with a friend. Again this one may not have the sexy togetherness of hitting a Def Leppard or Weezer reunion concert but helping each other in life opens up more possibilities than you can imagine. I bought a truck when I moved to Nashville and though many bitch about “everyone wanting to use my truck,” I make sure the people closest to me know that it’s available. Because what happens often after a couch donation or a BBQ purchase or an airport pickup? Dinner. Drinks. Conversation. Vulnerability. Community.


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Look I don’t have a corner on this market. I’ve had a strange couple of years like everyone, probably stranger than most, but not as strange as some I’m sure. The bottom line is I get concerned when I —

B. Don’t hear anybody talking about why.

I was in Alaska for the first time last week and yep I found community. Good community.

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All I was thinking of was that a three-hour plane flight would probably be more enjoyable with some conversation.

And I was right.

Katherine if you’re reading this I hope all 14 horses are doing well and I hope the long drive to North Dakota is enjoyable. I’ll research a few more podcasts for the return and get back to you.



it’s out there ya’ll, but you might be out of practice finding it.

Maybe we all are.