Statistics have shown that over 70% of us feel lonely. There are varying degrees of loneliness, but most of us have experienced it in our lifetimes. Social Media has engulfed our society in overwhelming ways. Not too long ago, children went outside to play with the neighborhood children and teen-agers and young lovers talked on the phone for hours. Today, a text message is the communication of choice. Without eye contact, psychologists have reported that we are losing the ability to recognize emotion in others.
Even though we boast about having several hundred Facebook friends, Millennials are deeply lonely. Without a physical relationship with a friend, where you talk, laugh and experience life together, loneliness becomes predominant in our lives.
Is there a cure for loneliness? There is an old Proverb that says, “He who has friends, must show himself friendly.” It is very true – in order to have friends we need to be a friend. So often we come home from school or work and feel sad because no one ever reaches out to us, never invites us to go to an event or to have lunch. Did you ever think they might be feeling just like you? Even if you are shy, when you are feeling lonely you need to be the one to reach out to someone else. A friendship needs to start someplace, with someone taking the initiative by saying, “Would you like to go and get a cup of coffee?” You go, conversation begins and if you find you have anything in common, such as liking sports, a friendship buds.
When you are sitting alone with time to think, start considering what talents you have. God has given all of us different gifts. Are you using yours to serve others? If you are good at sports, volunteer to coach a youth sports team like Little League. They are always in need of help. This gets you involved in your community and working with a network of parents and kids, you will have no time to feel lonely. There are many other gifts so you might start making a list of what you like. If you love animals, the local Humane Society is always looking for volunteers. Make another list of things you would like to learn and sign up for a class. The Parks and Recreation Department offers instruction for women who have always wanted to learn to tap dance. Sign up, say hello to the other participants and one day say, “Let’s go for a cup of coffee.” Junior colleges offer many classes to choose from; you can take a cooking class, learn photography, or auto mechanics. Now don’t just go and keep to yourself – reach out and make a friend. There is a passage in the Bible, 1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…”
Even when you are feeling lonely, reach out to serve others. Remember, there are many people feeling just like you and they are waiting and wanting someone to befriend them.
Look around your school, your work place, where ever you go; there are others longing to know someone cares about them. There is a lot of truth in the old saying, “If it’s to be it’s up to me.”