Loneliness and the cost of true community

Simon Smart
September 26, 2022

Simon Smart reflects on the ever growing issue of loneliness. A recent Telstra and YouGov report reveals that 40% of Australians experience isolation. The pandemic certainly brought this to our attention, although it is not a new phenomenon, despite our increasing technological connectivity. It is a concern that loneliness can reduce a person's lifespan by as much as 15 years! Smart writes...

"A modern Westerner faces a complex paradox to navigate. On the one hand, we have come to elevate the individual to the ultimate position, and alongside that we’ve adopted a narrow definition of “freedom” that revolves around unlimited choice. On the other hand, we are lonely and crave what only community can offer us. The problem is true community is costly. It’s hard work and inconvenient and involves time and selflessness and care for people we might otherwise choose not to be around. It’s where we learn patience and kindness and humility and hospitality. It’s where we can be a support to others while they support us. Sporting clubs and book groups and various associations — gatherings of like-minded people — offer some of these qualities for sure.

Might faith communities have something surprising and unique to offer us as we seek relationships of depth and meaning? As we seek connection?"

Image: Photo by Traworld Official on Unsplash

Recent Posts

October 4, 2023
Feasting & Judgementalism

Simon Smart and Justine Toh discuss how eating can tell us much about what it means to be human, it reveals something about our innermost desires. Followed by a conversation around why being judgemental is an unattractive attitude. Source: https://www.publicchristianity.org/feasting-judgementalism/ Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

Read More
September 6, 2023
The Cycle of Overfunctioning and Distancing

This article shows how patterns of behaviour can develop over time, and how reflection on our approach to situations might help navigate frustrations with relationships and teamwork, not only in the workplace, but also in our home environments. "There is tremendous benefit to paying attention to the temptation to take over or take off. When have […]

Read More
September 6, 2023
Practical Tips for the Corporate Mom Life (guest post by Causha Jolly)

Further to the Corporate Working Moms podcast https://engageworkfaith.org.au/corporate-working-mums/, this article provides handy suggestions for managing the work/life balance challenge, such as how to get dinner on the table...or "How do you balance sports/extra-curricular activities? For this season in life we found our family works best with one sport at a time.  Ultimately this means each […]

Read More