Full transcript of Niqolas Ruud’s TEDx Talk on The Art of Alone: Intentional Solitude at TEDxWallaWallaUniversity conference.
Albert Einstein once said:
“I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualize what is going on inside of my imagination.”
When was the last time you did that? When was the last time you just plopped down in the middle of the day and sat there alone, with only your thoughts? Was it this morning? Maybe last night? A day or two ago? Last week? Maybe even a month ago?
You know, I bet you, it’s been a while, and here’s why: because I think, as a society, we are afraid of being alone, we’re afraid of separating ourselves from others, we’re afraid of solitude.
In 2014, Science Magazine published a study in which participants were placed in a room for 15 minutes of time by themselves, and told to just sit there with their thoughts and this electric shocker.
Now, the results that came out of this study – simply fascinating. The majority of participants, the majority of people placed in this room, it was found they shocked themselves with that little electric shocker at least once, at least once during their little 15-minute time span in that room.
As a society, we are afraid of being alone, and not only are we afraid of being alone individually. But we’re also afraid of those around us who we see as being alone; we’re afraid of others who appear to be by themselves.