Solitary confinement was invented many years ago as a tool for reform but instead drove the prisoner mad. How then do hermits survive? Is it the lack of policing, the authoritative body? Is it the conscious decision, the lifestyle choice that makes the difference? What of the physical environment? Or the freedom to roam? Is it all or none of these?
As a society we are creating situations where more and more people are being pushed, involuntarily, into a state of solitary confinement. Families are disjointed and dispersed; neighbours no longer speak with each other; it is frowned upon to make conversation with a stranger; at work you are either popular or ignored. Even in the checkout line at the supermarket, with self-scanning technology the opportunity for human interaction is removed until a person can find themselves isolated.
Isolate. Solitary. Solitude. Dissolute.
Negative emotions breed indiscriminately. Small hiccups attain the majestic proportions of disasters. The lethal cocktail of escalating anger, loneliness and depression culminate in a violent act which is either directed inwards in an attempt to end the suffering, or outwards, towards the populace that refuses to understand and is blinkered to the pain.
Naive? Maybe. Simplistic? Perhaps. I do know my family and friends keep me sane. I hope I do the same for them.