Value of solitude


In today’s society or the modern society, there is nobody whowants to stay alone. Advances in technology and the development ofthe internet have led to connectivity between people who might bemiles away. People can communicate instantly through emails, chatsand phone messages and therefore there is no room for solitude.William Deresiewicz, in his article The end of solitude,asserts that people have been influenced by technology and haveforgotten about solitude. The author of this article also highlightsa number of various aspects that individuals and society lose asresult of the decline of solitude (Deresiewicz, 2009). In chapter 3when collaboration kills creativity, of the book Quiet: thepower of introverts in a world that can`t stop talking by SusanCain, there is immense information that highlights the positiveeffects of solitude. The author states that the development of thenew groupthink has affected solitude. People are no longer workingaloe but prefer working as a team or a group (Cain, 2012). The authoralso states that creativity can only be achieved when people workalone. Solitude can be viewed as an aspect where a person prefers tostay alone and work alone. Introverts are people who are said to bein solitude since they do not prefer social places (Cain, 2012).Solitude has been associated with creativity and some of the greatestinnovations were done by introverts.

Thesis statement: Whereas solitude cannot be said to be panaceaof creativity, there is increasingly strong evidence that assertsthat solitude and creativity and intelligence are closelyinterlinked creativity is in no doubt that it resolves variouspersonal and communal problems.

The value of solitude cannot be ignored. Research has shown thatsome of the greatest discoveries in the world were achieved by peoplewho are termed as introverts. Susan Cain states that solitude is likethe mother creativity. She supports fully the aspect solitude sinceshe believes that this ensures that people are left alone to thinkand develop ideas (Cain, 2012). According to Cain, there has been anygreat discovery that was done by a person in a social setting wherepeople were interacting and making noise. She point to people such asIsaac Newton who were known to be extreme introverts. He is one ofthe most celebrated discoverers in history. Most innovations are doneby people in solitude and when they are entirely alone. Cain refersto solitude as a catalyst to innovation. Wozniak, who is a co-founderof the personal computer with Steve Jobs worked through hisinnovations and ideas alone. Wozniak was opposed to the idea ofgroupthink and preferred to work alone (Cain, 2012). He would resortback to his room and wake up early in the morning, as well as stay uplate to work on his idea of a personal computer that would be used athome. It is abundantly clear that the innovation that Wozniak came upwith did not involve any other person but he developed it on his own(Cain, 2012). The value of these innovations both to the individualand the society cannot be underestimated. Considering that theinnovations came as a result of solitude, it is clear that solitudeis incredibly valuable.

Innovations such as the personal computer that can be used at homehave been in use for decades since its development by Wozniak. Thebenefits that the computers have brought are clear and evident.Computers make work easy and fasten the process of productivity.Wozniak celebrated his innovation while the society has since enjoyedand benefited from his creativity and innovation (Cain, 2012). Theaspect of solitude led to this tremendous innovation. In thisrespect, it is clear that solitude is indeed valuable. Its valueemanates from the innovations that were developed by introverts.Wozniak agreed that most of the intelligent people resembled him andthat they are quiet and introverts (Cain, 2012).

Solitude’s value can also be viewed from a religious angle.William Deresiewicz, in his article argues that people can onlycommunicate with their God when in solitude and when in a silentplace. William (2009) argues that the small and still voice can onlybe heard in silence. Solitude and the aspect of being alone ensurethat a person can communicate with God comfortably withoutdisruptions. William states that it is impossible to communicate withGod while in a place where people are chatting you and disruptingyou. In this regard, the value of solitude can be viewed from adimension of religion. Communication with divine power is essentialboth to the individual, as well as to the society (Deresiewicz,2009). From time immemorial, society has relied solely on divinepower as a way of seeking refuge and solutions to problems that arebeyond their power. The souls of people in solitude are left toencounter God. It is difficult for people to encounter andcommunicate with God when they are in a team or a group. This callsfor solitude and its value in the religious sphere (Deresiewicz,2009).

Many games such as chess require sufficient practice. Cain statesdeliberate practice can only occur in solitude. It is difficult forpeople to practice as a group since individuals will not be able topoint out their weaknesses and chose what in particular they want tostudy or practice. Solitude enables introverts to embark on practicethat involves improving on the areas which they are weak. Solitudeenables individuals practicing for a game such as chess to embark onbecoming experts in the game. This leads to the development ofexperts in the game. The same case applies in organizations thatrequire creativity by its employees (Cain, 2012). For instance,companies that deal with the development of computer games haveensured that their employees work individually as opposed to havingthem work as a team or as a group. It has been found out thatcreativity reduces significantly when there are interruptions or whendevelopers are in a social setting (Cain, 2012). This is not onlyimportant to individual gamers or developers, but also to the societyat large. When employees develop a game that is creative and useful,it will benefit children in the society through cognitivedevelopment.

Whereas there is an argument that extroverts form the best publicleaders, it is essential to state that introverts also form greatleaders in the theoretical and aesthetic fields. There have beengreat leaders such as Charles Darwin who were indeed introverts andspent a great deal of their lives in solitude. Leadership is alsorequired in areas such as developing new knowledge or realigningexisting knowledge. Introverts or people who spend much of their timein solitude are some of the greatest writers and philosophers.Developments in philosophy have opened up new knowledge that peopledid not know before. This has helped in solving various humanproblems and social dilemmas (Cain, 2012). Additionally, solitudeenables people to have some scientific breakthroughs that areessentially vital in solving human problems. There are examples ofwriters such as Kafka who told his wife that he would write when shewas around. This is a clear indication that creativity in writingcalls for self reflection. Young writers are looking upon ancientwriters as their role models. It is abundantly clear that the valueof solitude is tremendous in this aspect.

Solitude’s value is also seen in self evaluation. People can onlyexamine themselves when they are alone. Self-examination is extremelyvial in ensuring that people are doing what is right and correct forthem and for the society. Self-examination helps individuals to findout what flaws they might have and therefore come up with solutionsduring self-reflection and self-examination that will correct theirflaws (Deresiewicz, 2009). The Puritans argue that the loss of thepropensity for self-examination is a loss of a spiritual life ofwisdom. This is an indication that indeed solitude is valuable. It isevident from the reading by William that in the modern times, peoplehave lost the keen interest in reading. It is evidently clear thatpeople spend very little time on the web to read. People no longerread books in solitude due to the development of the internet(Deresiewicz, 2009).

In conclusion, it is evident from the discussion above that indeedthe aspect of solitude is extremely valuable both to individuals andto the society at large. Some of the greatest discoveries andinnovations were done by introverts and by people who were alone insolitude. Development of the personal home computer has been one ofthe greatest innovations in the world. The benefits cannot beexhausted in this paper. The value of solitude can be foundthroughout the discussion in this paper.


Deresiewicz, W. (2009). The end of solitude. Retrieved from: End-of-Solitude/3708

Cain, S. (2012).&nbspQuiet: The power of introverts in a worldthat can`t stop talking. New York: Crown Publishers.