I am a social hermit. Here are some interesting facts about what my solitude has done for me:
1. Retreating from other people led me to the smartest group of individuals I have thus far encountered.
2. Retreating from other people has caused my brain to shrink, my imagination fade and intelligence wither.
3. On the strength of 1 & 2, it seems that coming into the presence of individuals who are smarter than I am has caused me to not only appear, but also to become, less intelligent.
But why should the privilege of being in the company of teachers cause me to succumb to black despair?–for depression is the cause of my diminished cognition. There are all manner of explanations:
1. Fear of having my illusion of special ability dispelled.
2. Sadness due to the realization of my fears.
3. Extreme timidity in the face of reasoned arguments which conclude that in order to be good I must radically change my behavior and life trajectory.
And so on . . .
How, then, to demolish these three assailants and thereby clear the sky of clouds and be happy again? Easy. The key to each is in the very first sentence of this post. Turn this one and I turn the others. I simply leave the hermit’s cell! Being close to others and sharing experiences will quickly rub away any illusions of virgin specialness. My hedonic set-point is lower than that of most others I know, so I expect that weaning some energy from their persons will take the edge off my sadness. And if you truly wish to be one among many then one cannot afford to be timid: timidity signals lack of participation or a weak communal drive, both of which result in diminished social interaction.
Summary: I’m a hermit. This led me to smart people. Smart people make me sad. Being sad is bad. To be happy I should be social. Being social leads to the development of pro-active character traits and a more compassionate understanding of other’s plights. I see no bad here. With the days I will tell you if some come into view–Lo!–and how I went about pulling them down.