Leave me aloneTue, 21st Nov '06, 8:15 am::
I was reading an NY Times article on being alone on reddit and following the comments when it got yanked off the front page. I'm not sure what happened but here's my reply to the article, which will make a lot more sense once you read the original article.
I think the bigger picture is not that some people are introverted or some other people desperately crave attention. The truth is that while genetically we are all 99.999% equals, our minds, emotions, and thus desires are completely unique. Our social structure isn't; it is extremely stratified. There are minor variations in social structures from country to country but over all, we have well-defined hierarchies in place almost throughout the entire civilized world.
From maternal and familial bonding to friendship and marriage, we all "know" how things should be. A person must find a mate and have a monogamous relationship with them. A person must form non-sexual bonds with others that they shall deem "friends," who may be called upon from time to time to help them lift a couch when primary domiciles change. This is how the young of the species must act in training environments and once they have been skilled in the fine art of survival, this is how they must seek a single mate.
All of this makes sense too if we want some form of just, stable society. None of this makes sense we find ourselves restricted and bound by these imaginary chains that do nothing but make us feel worse for being ourselves. Society doesn't take kindly to those that choose not to conform to these norms. You want a mate that is your own gender? Tough luck. You want two mates? Tramp! No mates? Loser. You want friends that are also physical partners? You want love interests without physical intimacy? You wish to dress up like the opposite gender while engaging in physical acts with multiple partners of both genders, under and over some hypothetical age? FREAK! There's a tragedy written on each of these subjects every generation and there's a good reason for it.
The human condition is not one of task-designated ants. We don't have one queen, a few thousand nurturers, and a few million soldiers. Every person is a unique blend of all these characteristics and have the birth-right to be who they truly are as long as they pose no threat to others. It is our ancestral notion that strictly adhering to the prescribed social guidelines is the only way to sustain the propagation of our species. While that is indeed true and I would find it hard to believe arguments against that, I think we have arrived at a stage when propagation of our species is not the biggest challenge we face. The challenge we face is to prevent the destruction of our species. That has for centuries and will indeed forever henceforth, be brought upon by individuals that feel ostracized by the society for thinking different, feeling different, and not "fitting in" regardless of the fact that they may be tyrants or eerily quiet neighbors.
Our goal as humans should no longer to be to beat out the dinosaurs and tigers in the wild. Our goal should be to ensure every person indeed feels human, accepted, and part of the human community. And if that means leaving the person alone, then so be it.