Solitude: Learn to live with yourself

Yong Yang
3 min readJan 17, 2021


A message the coronavirus probably wants to send us

Photo by Samuel Scrimshaw on Unsplash

When a disaster befalls mankind, it could be a time for salvation.

Having been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year, the novel coronavirus seems to be compelling us to rethink what being an individual means — that is to say, we need to maintain a distance from one another.

Without gatherings or meetups, could we still live a fulfilling life? Or have a conversation with ourselves?

To achieve that, we need to understand what solitude means.

Solitude, in essence, means living with yourself.

Our relationships with others are relative in nature. I often hope we could take a step back and enjoy the abundance of being alone.

Look inward to discover the purpose of our existence or something meaningful.

Since from the womb to the tomb, we are alone, we need to confront the challenges in life ourselves. Which requires us to answer the question: How do we manage these challenges individually, not collectively?

The coronavirus is by far the sternest warning against humans’ excessive social interaction and consumption.

We may have felt lockdowns and quarantines are coercive measures. Nonetheless, lockdowns have offered us an opportunity to collect ourselves.

Rediscovering books we have not read for a long time.

Listening to music we love.

Slicing cucumbers into cubes for salads slowly.

Why couldn’t we set aside time to spend time with ourselves?

How long have we not been alone insofar as we are afraid of doing so?

Have we been too obsessive about surrounding ourselves with people?

Maybe we shall give one another, and most importantly ourselves, time and space.

Almost everything seems to be accelerating rapidly for years. But humanity is indeed fragile. We are now at a critical juncture to question why there is a need to act in haste and ask ourselves whether we could decelerate.

Why is it necessary to always interact with others? But not able to handle ourselves alone?

The world has been celebrating the advent of smartphones that enable us to capture every moment. Hundreds and thousands of images overwhelm our galleries because we are taking a snapshot of anything anytime anywhere. We thought we are recording as many memories as we could. Sad to say, all these could go back to square one in the end.

In truth, everyone could engage in introspection amid this crisis.

Our low-level awareness is much to be blamed for the things we thought to be non-existent.

Stewing food on low heat over a long period requires patience that we do not seem to possess today.

Whilst we live in a pandemic with no end in sight, it may be able to redeem humanity.

Learning to live with ourselves may be a good place to start.

Let’s have a conversation with Mother Nature, ourselves, time and history.

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

— Carl Jung

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