What do people need?

Thanks for this N.

It finally got me. This wretched forced and voluntary isolation. No wonder solitary confinement is a well known punishment. Mon, Tues, Wed were very deep blue. A friend’s dad’s funeral, a very unwell teenager … but underneath it all, missing my people. The screen did not suffice any longer. It only frustrated me. The phone was a sordid excuse for ‘contact’. I wanted to be with real people in a real way. Feel the fabric of a friend’s scarf between my palms, share a pot of tea and a big slice of carrot cake at a local cafe and laugh till I cry and such simple pleasures.

For now, gotta hold my horses and know you are there and soon we’ll meet again. Thank you for being there for me, my people. I am here for you too.

“People need people,
To walk to
To talk to
To cry and rely on,
People will always need people.
To love and to miss
To hug and to kiss,
It’s useful to have other people.
To whom to moan
If you’re all alone,
It’s so hard to share
When no one is there.
There’s not much to do
When there’s no one but you.
People will always need people.

To please
To tease
To put you at ease,
People will always need people.
To make life appealing
And give life some meaning,
It’s useful to have other people.
It you need a change
To whom will you turn.
If you need a lesson
From whom will you learn.
If you need to play
You’ll know why I say
People will always need people.

As girlfriends
As boyfriends
From Bombay
To Ostend,
People will always need people-
To have friendly fights with
And share tasty bites with,
It’s useful to have other people.
People live in families
Gangs, posses and packs,
Its seems we need company
Before we relax,
So stop making enemies
And let’s face the facts,
People will always need people,
Yes
People will always need people.”

Benjamin Zephaniah

Day 768

“For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” – Seth Godin

Moving from Belfast to London was a culture shock. Suddenly, I was a nobody. Completely anonymous. I loved the freedom it afforded but missed belonging to a group or community. Luckily, it grew around us over time. For many people living in this overcrowded city can be an extremely lonely experience.

The phrase ‘social networks’ appeared many times in today’s lecture on resilience. It reminded me of Saagar. He was all about his friends. His life revolved around them. He was happiest when he was with them. After he left for university, he had officially flown the nest. His identity rested with his peers. Even when he complained about some of their characteristics, he went back to them.

Unfortunately the timing of his illness was such that he was home when all his friends had gone back to start their third year at university. They were physically away from him. He lost his tribe. He lost himself.