Definitions Of Solitude

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Henry David Thoreau once said. “I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” Thoreau had the right idea about solitude, by thinking of it as the best friend a person could have. However, the French origins translate to the negative word loneliness. Today’s definitions have moved closer to what I believe the word means, but it still remains misinterpreted by people as something with a negative connotation. Dictionary.com defines solitude as, “The state of being or living alone; seclusion” while Merriam-Webster defines it as “a state or situation in which you are alone usually because you want to be” Do not make the mistake of using solitude and loneliness interchangeably; they are not synonyms. I agree with the notion…show more content…
If you ask an introvert, someone who prefers the company of their own self, they might say solitude is a peaceful time where they can recharge from life’s stresses and relax. Contrastingly, an extrovert, a person who thrives on the company of others, may view it negatively, as a time of painful isolation akin to a prison sentence. The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard commented on the general public’s view towards the purpose of solitude in saying, “It is a frightful satire and an epigram on the modern age that the only use it knows for solitude is to make it a punishment, a jail sentence.” Solitude is a delightful choice to be by yourself while loneliness is a rejection of yourself by society, alone time that you do not want. Comparatively, you can be lonely while surrounded by lots of people, like if you were at a busy party with no one to talk to. Being alone is a requirement for solitude by my definition. Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher illustrates my idea in saying, “A man can be himself only so long as he is alone;... if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” Schopenhauer believed that solitude grants a person an unequivocal experience, one that is paramount to all others where they can truly be their best self. This leads to the next point on the purpose of solitude and its famous…show more content…
You’re cradled in a hammock with an engrossing read or maybe listening to your favorite song. There is not a single person in a five-mile radius of you, no one can disturb you. You have no responsibilities, no expectations, nothing but yourself and the comforting sounds of nature around you. You feel yourself becoming acutely aware of yourself and your place in the universe, profound thoughts create a comforting haze in your mind. Maybe you’ve brought a journal along with you, or an instrument. Either way, you feel an overwhelming urge to create, to produce something so beautiful and true that you can not get your ideas out fast enough. In these moments, you feel relaxed, at peace, and aware with yourself, your world, and your ability to create exponentiates. Many of history 's brightest minds exercised the ability to be alone by choice, to live in solitude. Among the proponents include profound thinkers and geniuses like Nietzsche, Newton, Locke, Picasso, Mozart, Einstein, and Goethe. These men were all able to produce great works in their lifetimes that serve as the foundations in the areas of philosophy, art, science, and music. Some correlate their success and works with their ability to work in solitude and the productivity that goes along with that. The scientist Nikola Tesla once highlighted this point in saying, “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude.
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