Loneliness Crisis Is Deadly

Loneliness Crisis Is Deadly

A recent USA Today article gathered data from the University of Michigan and Harvard University, showing that loneliness has increased dramatically in the United States. According to the article, 61% of adults ages 18 to 25 feel profound loneliness. Harvard professor Jeremy Nobel has established an initiative called “Project Unlonely” to address this loneliness crisis.

Professor Nobel classifies three types of loneliness:
(1) Psychological loneliness – not having anyone to trust or confide in
(2) Societal loneliness – feeling systemically excluded because of such things as gender, race, or disability
(3) Spiritual loneliness – feeling disconnected from oneself.

The U.S. Surgeon General’s advisory report says that loneliness increases the risk of premature death by 26%, equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The American Heart Association says that feeling lonely increases a person’s risk of heart disease by 29% and stroke by 32%, indicating that the loneliness crisis is deadly.

The U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy says that the solution to loneliness is to take 15 minutes a day to reach out to someone you care about or look for ways to serve others. He says that when we are with someone else, we must give them our full attention and put away our devices. He further states that schools, companies, and healthcare facilities must adopt strategies to reduce loneliness.

Nowhere in the USA Today article is the Church mentioned. The fact is that the teachings of Christ offer a real solution to loneliness. Read Acts 2:41-47, and you will see an excellent cure for loneliness. Read Matthew 25:31-40 and see what Jesus considers essential in how we live our lives. Christians can avoid the loneliness crisis by becoming active in building relationships and serving others.

Having a relationship with Christ gives us an understanding of our purpose for existing. Loneliness results from a world dominated by “survival of the fittest” and “looking after # 1.” The loneliness crisis in America has become an epidemic and is just part of the collateral damage that comes from rejecting God.

— John N. Clayton © 2024

Reference: “Americans are lonely, and it’s killing them” by Adrianna Rodriques in USA Today 12/27/23