Nearly Half [Of Americans] Say They Sometimes Or Always Feel Alone Or ‘Left Out.’ Thirteen Percent Of Americans Say That Zero People Know Them Well.

Writes Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Instituted in “How Loneliness Is Tearing America Apart/When people have a hole in their life, they often fill it with angry politics” (NYT)(citing a “large-scale survey from the health-care provider Cigna). Much of this op-ed column is drawn from the book “Them: Why We Hate […]

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Nearly Half [Of Americans] Say They Sometimes Or Always Feel Alone Or ‘Left Out.’ Thirteen Percent Of Americans Say That Zero People Know Them Well.

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Writes Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Instituted in “How Loneliness Is Tearing America Apart/When people have a hole in their life, they often fill it with angry politics” (NYT)(citing a “large-scale survey from the health-care provider Cigna). Much of this op-ed column is drawn from the book “Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to...

Writes Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Instituted in “How Loneliness Is Tearing America Apart/When people have a hole in their life, they often fill it with angry politics” (NYT)(citing a “large-scale survey from the health-care provider Cigna). Much of this op-ed column is drawn from the book “Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to Heal” by Senator Ben Sasse.

A précis of Mr. Sasse’s recommendations to America… might be this: Go where you get that hometown-gym-on-a-Friday-night feeling, put down roots and make plans to fertilize the soil.

fertilize the soil = have a cemetery plot.

That can be a tricky proposition for many of us… I have no Fremont [Nebraska, like Sasse] — not even Seattle, my hometown, which is a perfectly nice place, but one I unsentimentally left behind 35 years ago….  Is a thick community and the happiness it brings out of reach for rootless cosmopolitans like us?

He asked Sasse, who told him all he needed was “to intentionally invest in the places where we actually live.” Easy for him to say! He’s got Fremont, Nebraska. But Brooks accepts the facile prescription and ends:

Each of us can be happier, and America will start to heal, when we become the kind neighbors and generous friends we wish we had.

Yeah, do that.

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