Loneliness

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Loneliness is an emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation, of being cut off, disconnected from, and alienated towards other people. The lonely person may find it difficult or even impossible to have any form of meaningful human contact. The first recorded use of the word "lonely" was in William Shakespeare's Coriolanus.

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  • I am very old... my people were once around me like the sands of the shore... many... many... They have all passed away. They have died like the grass... they have gone to the mountains. I do not complain, the antelope falls with the arrow. I had a son. I loved him. When the palefaces came he went away. I do not know where he is. I am a Christian Indian, I am all that is left of my people. I am alone.
  • There walked a lonely man, silent, mute, the only man
    Not knowing how, not knowing why was he the sole survivor
    Why should he be alive, breathing still while others died
    And the only question, why was he the sole survivor?
    • Blue Oyster Cult, Sole Survivor, Fire of unknown origin, lyrics by Erik Bloom, John Trivers, and Liz Myers
  • Who knows what true happiness is? Not the conventional word but the naked terror. To the lonely themselves, it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion.
  • It is loneliness that makes the loudest noise. This is as true of men as of dogs.
    • Eric Hoffer, "Thoughts of Eric Hoffer, Including: 'Absolute Faith Corrupts Absolutely'", The New York Times Magazine (April 25, 1971), p. 55.
  • The Savage interrupted him. "But isn't it natural to feel there's a God?"
    "You might as well ask if it's natural to do up one's trousers with zippers," said the Controller sarcastically. "You remind me of another of those old fellows called Bradley. He defined philosophy as the finding of bad reason for what one believes by instinct. As if one believed anything by instinct! One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them. Finding bad reasons for what one believes for other bad reasons–that's philosophy. People believe in God because they've been conditioned to.
    "But all the same," insisted the Savage, "it is natural to believe in God when you're alone–quite alone, in the night, thinking about death …"
    "But people never are alone now," said Mustapha Mond. "We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it's almost impossible for them ever to have it."
  • We suffer a lot in our society from loneliness. So much of our life is an attempt to not be lonely: 'Let's talk to each other; let's do things together so we won't be lonely.' And yet inevitably, we are really alone in these human forms. We can pretend; we can entertain each other; but that's about the best we can do. When it comes to the actual experience of life, we're very much alone; and to expect anyone else to take away our loneliness is asking too much.
  • It's not that I hate people, I just feel better when they're not around.
  • It's pointless to cry. One is born and dies alone...
  • Men who have a tempestuous inner life and do not seek to give vent to it by talking or writing are simply men who have no tempestuous inner life.
    Give company to a lonely man and he will talk more than anyone.
  • Insults have broken my heart and left me weak, I looked for sympathy but there was none; I found no one to comfort me.
  • Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, cars, sidewalks, stores. Everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man.
  • 'I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.'
    • John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, (1937) page ??, Crooks.
  • Such a lonely day / And it's mine / The most loneliest day of my life. (sic)

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