Back in the 70’s while living in Puerto Rico we suffered electrical blackouts every so often. There are fond memories from these blackouts. For starters, everytime these happened everyone and the cat walked out of the house to the porch fleeing total darkness and the heat radiated through the concrete slab that serves as roof in most Puerto Rican homes. Once out, all the neighbors gravitated to one another to talk while us kids played outside.
It was a pleasant experience these blackouts. Adults connected with one another in what otherwise would have been a tranquil night with everyone resting in their own homes doing whatever needed to be done before calling it a day and go to sleep. The blackout was received as an annoyance and then morphed into something pleasant. However, as soon as the lights came on announcing the return of electrical power we all in unison yelled with joy “¡llegó la luz!”; adults then fared goodbye to each other each moving back to their respective homes.
I always wondered how circumstances force people to gather and socialize to better cope with a situation; and yet when the situation that generated the circumstance is gone we all go back to our comfortable lives all cooped up inside our homes.
It was the outside gathering, however, that we most reminisce on.
The question is then; Why? Why stop something that feels good when the comforts of modernity rear their enticing head? Why not continue with communal social gathering?
Everytime I read an article lambasting modernity, more directly Capitalism, I find comments about community living and why we need to destroy Capitalism to return to our long lost way of life. People who lean Left in their political views have this romantic view of a life destroyed through the onslaught of a dehumanizing system imposed on us. They tirelessly defend the destruction of a system that has brought so much riches to everyone including the most poor on Earth; dreaming of a communal life where everyone would not only enjoy the fruits of the commune but be collectively happy.
Communal living is the standard of living of primitive societies; not advanced and enlightened ones. We humans enjoy our solitude. The richer we get the more we can enjoy and look for solitude and space. Mind you; solitude and loneliness are two different things. No human with good mental health cherish loneliness but most of us do cherish solitude. The fact that we can enjoy that is proof of our raised general standard of living.
Just like food is easily available, in a well developed Capitalistic society, leading to obesity for those not disciplined enough and deliberate to limit its consumption; so does the ease and availability of solitude leads to loneliness for those not conscious enough and deliberate to limit its comforting urge.
If you are obese; give thanks to be living in a time where food is so easily available and accept your obesity if doing something about it will only increase your misery.
If you are lonely; give thanks to be living in a time where solitude is so easily available for your use and accept your loneliness, if getting out of your way to get rid of it, will only increase your discomfort.
Just don’t blame the planets, society or, God forbid, Capitalism for your misery.
One AOC is enough!