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Life, Tests and Solitude

Updated: Jul 9

Unless you are this dictator or a cult leader that cannot be questioned at all, the sad truth for the rest of us is that at most, every day may contain at least some sort of test or examination, whose results could eventually determine your "fate" throughout life. When having a job, you must appeal to your supervisors every day of work in order to prove that you're still a worthy employee.

If you get to know a new friend, they ought to evaluate who you are and whether or not your existence is relevant to their own. If you suffer from addiction and are trying to recover from it, you must pass the test of avoiding the source of addiction in order to prove yourself that you are capable of living without it.

In short, and especially when it includes interactions with others, these "unconscious" evaluations have an imperative role to almost every field that involves communication. Thus, it's only natural that life could be very stressful, and those who are truly stress-tolerant, are people with probably the highest probability to pass such formal and informal tests with a little care in the world.

A major element in many of our lives is stress; stress which originated from a seemingly-endless effort to appeal to those you might be dependent upon -- your friends, family, and different authorities such as bosses, teachers and sometimes the law. To be in this constant, multiple people need to prove to others that you're a competent worker, friend and whatever else -- that surely takes some mental toll on some people, who are unfortunately less tolerant to stress.

You can see the outcome of this phenomenon in Japan, in the form of people who decided to become hikikomoris, or "shut down hermits". They forcibly isolate themselves from the stressful world they were put in, because they know such stress is too much for them. Should I find evidence of other "hikikomoris" in additional places worldwide, I won't be surprised at all, all because that stress is an inevitable part of contemporary life.

And the thing is, unless you receive genuine care about your condition, then your stressful situation might be overlooked by anyone who cares for you, only on the flat level of your functionality. This leads to an important philosophical question -- why should one desire the company of others, when such company is, by default, stressful? Not just for a day or two, but potentially for the rest of your working, adult life.

You could choose to pretend that you don't owe anything to anybody, that you do not need to prove anything to anyone.. But the cold truth is that, as long as you are amongst civilization and not just in the permanent walls of your house -- you will be put under the watchful eyes of anyone who believes you are expendable, that you could one day be too irrelevant to them. Because of that, one must be in a constant struggle to prove that they are good enough, that they're interesting enough, that they're sufficiently good enough in their job; that they're calm enough, normal enough... And the list goes on.

Those tests don't have to be formal, like in school or university; they can practically happen anywhere and anytime, as long as you are in the presence of other people. What's so "horrible" about these examinations is that there is always a chance to fail. Should you fail too much, you might lose your job, lose some friends, be dumped by your partner, and not get that degree you so desire. Indeed, to be amongst society is to make sure you're as far as possible from being a failure or be seen as such by a large majority.

In hermitage such stress exists to a very lesser degree, if at all. When alone, with no communication at the time, no one would have to evaluate you, because with little-to no external presence, there is almost no stress caused by formal or informal examinations, under the watchful eyes of others.

My advice is this: If you wish to reduce your stress as much as possible, consider abstaining, at least for a degree, from society. Pick an easy job, but don't let that low-status job define you; work to become a "greater" person in solitude, by picking a craft or activity that'll put you away from the feeling of worthlessness. Become your own master; your own watchful eye, and then your stress will only depend on you.

This is exactly why I chose to write independently. I'm my own boss and I can write only when I want to, and only I have the power to determine if an article is decent or not. Solitude has greater control for you to attain, and thus, there is little disappointment..

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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