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Reach out to lonely people

By Marilyn C. Arayata

Many Americans are reportedly lonely, according to a study. The loneliest group belongs to – guess what – Generation Z, those between the ages 18 and 22. The said study says that young people who have very limited face-to-face interactions are prone to loneliness. It also found that in contrast, young people who spend time hanging out with friends, exercising, doing homework, reading print media, and attending religious services are able to cope.

As a nation with millions of social media users and with a big part of it composed of young people, one can not help but wonder how many young Filipinos who are constantly glued on their gadgets lack face-to-face interactions. How many of them look fine but are lonely deep inside? What happens to those who do not have close family ties? (In a previous radio interview, a government official admitted that many young Filipinos are becoming depressed – with heartbreak as the primary reason).

What do they do in an attempt to hide their loneliness, forget the pains and worries? Where do they go when relationships fail and when nobody seems to understand?

No age group is immune to loneliness – and it is the young people who are very vulnerable. Reach out to them. Check on them. Support them. Take care of them – not by protecting them from disappointments but by teaching them to become resilient.

We all get lonely and frustrated. We all make mistakes. We never could have made it without real, caring people and meaningful relationships. Extend to vulnerable, lonely, and confused individuals the same support that people gave you, the same chances that God gave you. Pay it forward!

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Marilyn Arayata, bullying, depression and suicide prevention advocate and speaker. E-mail mcarayata01@gmail.com. Like the Hope Boosters Facebook Page for nuggets of hope and inspiration.

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