Community – Loneliness’s Antidote

Last night we watched ‘The Weir’, a play showing lonely people coming in an Irish pub.

The director wrote in his programme notes: ‘According to a recent study, 45% of adults in the UK report feeling lonely ‘occasionally’ or ‘often’. Loneliness, the same study suggests, is as bad for you as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day… The antidote to loneliness is community.’

Musing… three groups of people yesterday… demonstrating ‘community’.

…At the theatre a team of people made The Weir possible – managing the box office, serving at the bar, the ‘house manager’, stage manager, technician operating lights and sound, the actors, director… a community working together for the benefit the audience …

…At our local pub I was part of a conversation about a dog-walking group. Names were mentioned – people I didn’t know – who walk their dogs, chat and drink coffee together. Personal details, family issues and medical concerns were mentioned with empathy, understanding and compassion… a community sharing their lives together…   

…At the hospital I visited my friend who’s seriously ill. I found four of his friends already there. We talked about other friends coming later in the day and tomorrow. We shared our concerns, the cause of our friend’s illness, his prognosis, his family. Some of us prayed… a community with common concern for our sick friend.

Musing… St Paul’s illustration of the body – referring to church-community, and also community in general:

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body…”

…A single body-part is lonely and useless. When brought together with other parts in body-community they recognise and appreciate each other’s needs and value… achieving meaning and purpose… sharing success and suffering in a community of companionship, camaraderie and compassion.

2 thoughts on “Community – Loneliness’s Antidote

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: