Otago Daily Times: The loss of tribal connection

 

September 5, 2016

Sebastian Junger, award-winning journalist and bestselling author, highlights the disconnect and lack of belonging in modern society and its costs on well-being in his latest book: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.

“A person living in a modern city or suburb can, for the first time in history, go through an entire day — or an entire life — mostly encountering complete strangers. They can be surrounded by others and yet deeply, dangerously alone. ”

“Numerous cross-cultural studies have shown that modern society — despite its nearly miraculous advances in medicine, science, and technology — is afflicted with some of the highest rates of depression, schizophrenia, poor health, anxiety, and chronic loneliness in human history. As affluence and urbanisation rise in a society, rates of depression and suicide tend to go up rather than down. Rather than buffering people from clinical depression, increased wealth in a society seems to foster it. The findings are in keeping with something called self-determination theory, which holds that human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent about what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others.”

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