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STATISTICS ON LONELINESS


This week I read an article by Medical News Today about the health effects of loneliness. Quoting the article, it states that "there is evidence that the risk of developing and dying from heart disease can depend on the strength of one's social network of friends and family."


Warren Clark is a senior analyst with Housing, Family and Social Statistics Division, Statistics Canada. He prepared a survey on Canadian Social Trends. In an age of high-tech communication Clark reveals how we are "terminally in touch...yet many people live alone." Families have decreased from 4 to 2.6 members but houses are larger, from 5 to 6 rooms. We want private bathrooms and private space. The age of people sitting in the same room and being in meaningful activity and relationship is a lost gift of healthy social interaction. On average we spend six hours alone every day.


I think these growing trends reflect a parallel reality in our journey with God. There are more churches, more Christian literature, and more blackberry and iPod apps; more Bible reading-plans, more social networks for podcasts and simulcasts than was dreamed possible a few years ago. Yet the stories of loneliness and isolation from God are staggering and are becoming as common as cable television and fast-food dinners.


Obviously the way to address loneliness is social engagement and relationship-building. Likewise when we feel lonely or isolated from God we need to work on that relationship to correct the problem.


(From a sermon by Dale Pilgrim, Deep Connection, 5/9/2011)

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