Since 2019, the proportion of the US population experiencing depression or anxiety tripled and quadrupled, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, and the American Psychological Association. As extraordinary as this statistic is, there are myriad reasons for this: pandemic, Putin, climate change. Pick your anxiety, and you can go for some first-class doom forecasting. The kicker is that during this same time we have been spending less and less time with each other. We, humans, left with too much alone time can get ourselves worked up into a some rather dark places.
The antidote is to bring more people into our lives, to enlarge our circles of contact, especially people who may be outside of our normal routes. We all have a natural built-in mechanism for re-balancing. It requires input from others, however, in order to work; this is not a DIY feature. I can’t tell you how many totally nuts ideas, which at the time seemed so real, simply vaporized when I engaged in a conversation with another person. The oh-so-energized forecasting part of my brain needs human contact to get itself straightened out. At our stage in life, we can often find our friend circles diminishing, in desperate need of nourishment. It is harder to meet people than when we were young, in school, starting our first jobs. We also have the burden of experience, that voice that, as Herbert Spencer famously wrote, is ”contempt prior to investigation” which will keep us in everlasting ignorance. It is the voice that says, ‘I am fine, I don’t need any new people and new information. I have seen and done all I need to.’ Say hello to instant fossilization and isolation, not to mention depression and anger. Good times not so much.
In an effort to do our part, we have created a private AGEIST group on Leap for our readers to connect face-to-face and through chat. Our first conversation in our private group is with me, David, talking about friendship, how to make new friends, and how to keep friends. Join us this Monday, Oct 3rd at 9.30am PT / 12.30pm ET. Let’s connect, let’s investigate and let’s do it together. See you there.
Onward and upward,