Western society is making us lonely

I think there’s a massive problem at the core of Western society that results in so many of us feeling lonely.

The problem is this:

Western society is too focused on the individual.

Don’t get me wrong. I think one of the great achievements of Western civilization is the idea of individual rights. Many philosophers and activists that have come before us have created important movements that have resulted in political systems today recognizing the human rights and dignity that each of us possess.

However, it’s reached a point where there’s now a consistent message that the path to self-actualization comes from looking after yourself first and foremost.

I think there’s a real problem with this message. It misunderstands the nature of our humanity.

Yesterday I was a panelist for the New Human online summit and had the chance to share this message. I recorded the video below with my reactions right after the panel.

If you aren’t able to watch the video now, keep reading for my summary. And make sure to check out the New Human Summit here. All of the recordings are available for a limited time.

The antidote to loneliness: Understanding you’re a social creature

It’s important to take responsibility for your own personal development, to believe that everything happens for a reason. Too often we rely on other people rather than taking control of our own destiny.

However, sometimes we can take this too far.

Human beings are fundamentally social creatures. We can’t exist in isolation from each other.

Societies were created in order to help groups of humans survive. By collaborating, we were more able to live off the earth and defend ourselves against other tribes.

It’s easy to criticize society these days. Personally, I’m on a constant struggle to define my individuality in opposition to social norms and conventions.

Yet the reality is that I can’t ever be an individual. I can’t exist on my own. Holding onto my individuality is what makes me lonely.

It’s important to understand how important relationships are in my life. My identity comes from how I see myself through the eyes of others.

It matters more that I’m cooperating effectively with others, living a life of virtue and being useful.

The importance of vulnerability and authenticity

I’m so happy to be part of the New Human Summit because it was created with these values in mind.

On the panel yesterday we spoke about the importance of vulnerability and authenticity. We’re not perfect, and life can be a struggle. When we’re honest about the pains and struggles we go through, we create the space to authentically connect with others.

I would like to invite you to join the New Human Summit, while also checking out the recordings from the incredible conversations over the last few days.

Speakers include Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus and world renowned scientist Bruce Lipton. More importantly, there are a number of speakers you may not have heard, but who shared incredibly authentic stories in their panels.

I was lucky to speak on two panels and share more of my own backstory to creating Ideapod and what we have in store for the future.

NOW WATCH: 5 unconventional tips to being happy


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  1. [email protected]

    Wow. Happiness is found here reading through all your wonderful pieces. Am glad I made it here and knowing this will grow me otherwise thrills me so much. Thanks Brown

  2. Rajni

    Hi Justin,
    Nyc inputs you have given.i would want to share smthg..
    We all know we all r so lonely inside, every single one of us ,whether we admit or not.
    We need to find solution to this ..
    I m blessed to have been born in India.love for one another ,community service,faith in god and positive outlook has helped me a lot to understand myself deeply .
    Listening to our inner voice is very important .
    Rajni Aggarwal

  3. Mike Thompson

    “My identity comes from how I see myself through the eyes of others.”

    On the surface, this appears like an empathetic, very self-aware statement. My faith would lead me to replace the word “others” with Christ. My identity is rooted in how God sees me; my identity is rooted in Christ. When God sees me, he sees me through the lense of his Son. Graciously, this is revealed to us in scripture.

  4. Lindsay Greene

    I am so happy I joined Ideapod today. This is articulated so beautifully about altruism and our true purpose to overcome our damages and to be good to others. I love the distinguishment between helping others and enabling others. Just beautifully spoken.
    I have gone through a huge transformation in the past year and am so happy to continue my journey with people that are looking to elevate thier vibration.

    1. Justin Brown Post author

      Thanks so much, it’s great to have you here. Looking forward to getting to know you better in the comments and the other spaces we have online!

  5. jules

    I am so touched by your response, depth and honesty. I do not have the words to express what I am feeling right now…. ‘humbled’ is the best…

    1. Justin Brown Post author

      Thanks Jules, it’s been great getting to know you over the last few weeks and looking forward to meeting you in person in the future.

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