So Lonely (Murthy And Galloway)

Hurt people hurt people. And, speaking from experience, a lot of hurt people are lonely. 

If we don’t know how to maintain, invest, and reinvest in relationships – and hello, I’ve SUCKED at this quite a bit in my life, so I’m speaking with first-hand knowledge – we all get lonely from time to time (or more often). It happens even if we don’t label it out of pride, stubbornness or, insert your own excuse here ________. 

And when we’re lonely, life sucks. See the comment above. Been there. Done that. No more (hey everybody reading this, nice to see you!). 

Dr. Vivek Murthy is the US Surgeon General. He recently joined Scott Galloway (The Prof G Pod) to talk about his work on the loneliness epidemic in America. 

Yes. Epidemic. 

You’ll want to look at this – Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation. A few quick snippets from Murthy’s intro, then listen to the podcast and/or read the source material. 

Knowing how to keep a life full of healthy relationships is knowing how to live (emphasis added): 

When I first took office as Surgeon General in 2014, I didn’t view loneliness as a public health concern. But that was before I embarked on a cross-country listening tour, where I heard stories from my fellow Americans that surprised me.

People began to tell me they felt isolated, invisible, and insignificant. Even when they couldn’t put their finger on the word “lonely,” time and time again, people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, from every corner of the country, would tell me, “I have to shoulder all of life’s burdens by myself,” or “if I disappear tomorrow, no one will even notice.”

Loneliness is far more than just a bad feeling—it harms both individual and societal health. It is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death. The mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day,4 and even greater than that associated with obesity and physical inactivity. And the harmful consequences of a society that lacks social connection can be felt in our schools, workplaces, and civic organizations, where performance, productivity, and engagement are diminished. 

Each of us can start now, in our own lives, by strengthening our connections and relationships. Our individual relationships are an untapped resource—a source of healing hiding in plain sight. They can help us live healthier, more productive, and more fulfilled lives. Answer that phone call from a friend. Make time to share a meal. Listen without the distraction of your phone. Perform an act of service. Express yourself authentically. The keys to human connection are simple, but extraordinarily powerful.

I’m on a mission in my own life to have healthier, happier relationships across the board. At home, with friends, with colleagues, etc.. I don’t want to be a hurt person hurting others, especially when I can be an interested person being interested in interesting people instead. Finding “the others” in the past several years of my life has been, well, life changing. For the better. 

The epidemic is real. People like us have an important role to play in staying engaged AND engaging others. Read the report, check out the podcast interview, and go be a good steward of the human race