Ember has something to say about isolation, and about folks who recommend isolation as a way of avoiding people one doesn’t agree with.
Remember, kids: Being cut off from anyone who doesn’t agree with whoever told you to isolate is step one in cult indoctrination.
I keep running across a particular narrative online, and occasionally in person:
“There are bad things in the world. Isolate yourself to avoid harm!”
“Other people don’t agree with you. Isolate yourself to avoid being tainted by them!”
“Anything unapproved of is a waste of time. Isolate yourself to focus on what matters!”
“You’re too sensitive. Isolate yourself and get out of our way!”
“You lack social skills. Isolate yourself to avoid hurting people!”
“Something is wrong. Isolate yourself!”
Isolation is toxic. It is literally maddening. We are social animals. Granted, not everyone is equally social, but even introverts aren’t better off being totally isolated. Avoiding perspectives other than our own undermines our empathy, which is a necessary component of compassion. Isolation certainly doesn’t help people become less sensitive or more socially skilled, but I would hope that’s obvious. Basically, isolation can transform even the kindest…
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