LIVING WITH A NET
Someone once said being sociable is like living with a net. Having family, friends and neighbors who are an integral part of our lives gives us a soft place to land. Without that net, life is lonely, stressful, and unhealthy. Studies have shown that sociable people are healthier and less likely to become depressed. Yet our society seems to be moving toward less sociable lifestyles.
Ten years ago, I read a great magazine article about the power of friendship. It described the life of a city girl who felt "different" because everyone else seemed to have a support system of family, friends, and neighbors. She came home from work every day and felt lonely. She didn't have people around her that she could depend on. She was living without a net.
The article claimed that we have become a nation of loners. Walking around with cell phones and headphones in our ears puts us in our own little worlds, disconnected from society. Sitting at home in front of a computer is recreation for some people. Before computers, recreation meant socializing in person.
Humans are social beings. We are made to socialize, and if that is missing from our lives, we just don't feel right. We feel different, like someone sitting on the sidelines watching the world go by. But it's never too late to experience life as it was meant to be. Unfortunately, sitting around waiting for the phone to ring won't make us more sociable. It takes effort to build a support system of friends and neighbors. We have to be willing to reach out to others. And we have to be supportive and dependable ourselves. We can only attract what we're willing to give.
I've experienced life both with and without that supportive "net." And I can attest to the difference it makes. Living without a net is damaging to both our physical and mental well-being. Without people close by on whom we can rely, life is an overwhelming challenge. We weren't meant to live without a net. We all need a soft place to fall.