Solitude by Michael Harris | Book Review
Hello readers! Starting the month of July with an excellent book! We’re talking about Solitude by Michael Harris.
It’s ok to be alone!
Harris highlights that it is ok to be alone. Solitude doesn’t mean feeling lonely. It means spending time without the company of others. This is something that I definitely felt uncomfortable with for a long time throughout my teens. With the rise of technology, the notion of spending time alone is often seen as weird. One of the most encouraging and thought-provoking statements Harris makes in this book is that:
If you can’t day dream and be alone in your own thoughts, you are not at peace with yourself
This really resonated with me because the fear of being alone in one’s thoughts can be daunting. One reason that this seemingly simple task seems petrifying is due to the constant connectivity that social media networks provides us. Ironically, these tools designed for connecting people often leave us feeling utterly disconnected. They are empty calories for our soul. Yet simply recognizing these issues helped me become more at peace with myself. Harris clearly demonstrates the need for us to regain our ability to be alone in thought, and see the beauty of the present moment.
I love that Harris makes a strong case for the need to able to disconnect from our crowded environments and retrain ourselves to be able to spend time in solitude and see value in that.
I also appreciate that Harris combines his personal experience and research from industry experts. He draws on insight gained from his experience of living in complete isolation for an extended period of time. While also discussing the concept of solitude with various industry experts.
We aren’t lonely because we are alone; we are lonely because we have failed in our solitude.
Is this book for you?
If you feel lonely even though you are surrounded by people on a regular basis, this book would be useful for you. I also think if you don’t feel comfortable spending time alone, this book can help you identify some of the underlying issues that may be causing your discomfort.
Finally, if you use your phone and social media often (which is the case for many millennials), I would strongly recommend reading this book because you will learn that frequent social media consumption is hindering you from the beauty of self-reflection and living in the present moment.
If solitude feels painful, it’s only because we don’t know how to be alone.
About Michael Harris
Recently we talked about Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Click here to find out if this book is for you.