While being a columnist of “Tinig ng Bayan” (published in Abra) during the 1980s, I remember our Taiwanese coordinator Cristina Lising-Geronga, who expressed herself in innumerable write ups about the topic loneliness. Sure, “Tinig ng Bayan” has been a publication for Filipinos abroad. Loneliness, borne by Filipinos living abroad while missing their families in the Philippines, became a very “normal” expression.
During that time, my Philippine mentor, the late Monsignor Professor Dr. Dr. Hermogenes E. Bacareza, Chaplain of the Philippine Community in Berlin, started together with me publishing “Ang Mabuhay”. Believe me, “loneliness” became a main topic in many write-ups.
The feeling that nothing catches your interest, that everything’s dull and flat, sums up the state of boredom. Too much time on your hands can result in boredom, and so can the tediousness of doing the same thing over and over again, like a dreary task at a job. So as soon as these needs are not being met in any area of life, boredom can set in and cause tiredness, drowsiness, laziness.
Nowadays, loneliness and boredom seem to be the splitting image of each other – so to speak, being as like two peas in a pod. While browsing in social networks like Facebook, one can find more and more comments as in “When Boredom Strikes” or so. Boredom, ending up in loneliness – or vice versus?
How come that loneliness and/or boredom are still a general topic in our society today’s society?
Loneliness has been called one of the main diseases even during the last century. It really doesn’t strike not only the Filipinos abroad and their loved ones back home. Too often loneliness is being followed by alcoholism, drug abuse and even suicide. Yes, loneliness becomes a modern day plague. I observed several people trying to surround themselves with so-called “friends” only to find that such relationships are often shallow and unsatisfying.
Loneliness can be painful but being lonely or alone at that is not always a bad thing. Ask yourself, how do you use your time, if you are really alone? Do you simply let the time pass without doing anything at all? Why not use such time productively? There are many worthwhile activities to engage in, even if you are alone, such as reading, writing, listening to good (light) music, playing an (forgotten?) instrument, gardening… .
Reading the bible can be also very particularly beneficial. The Word of God is “alive and exerts power” and can take our minds off ourselves.
To break the cycle of loneliness, one must be a giver. Let’s keep an eye, not only and always on our personal interests but also on the interests of others. Look around and watch out who needs help, or who needs a real friend or good listener. Once you have spotted such a person, act! Thus, in order to have friends, you must act like a friend. Luke 6:38 says, “Give to others, and God will give to you!” Besides, “There is more happiness (and less loneliness) in giving than receiving”, says Acts 20:35.
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