Whether we think we needed it or not, the arrival of COVID-19 has given us plenty of time to contemplate the meaning of solitude. Writing for NPR (National Public Radion in the U.S.), Colin Dwyer looks at the findings of recent research on the topic of solitude.
Dwyer offers four findings from this research:
- Solitude is in the mind of the beholder.
- We may crave time alone the way we crave time with others.
- Don’t expect an epiphany.
- Solitude can be a communal exercise.
Author Jane Badrock has noticed a fictional marketing niche that she aims to fill: older adult detectives, particular female ones.
“Think of the opportunities! Imagine, even the real-life unsolved crimes that may have happened because nobody suspected the little old lady.”
Brain scientists haven’t been able to find major differences between women’s and men’s brains, despite over a century of searching
I couldn’t resist including this article. The search to explain gender differences by tying them to differences in the anatomy and/or function of various parts of the brain began at the dawn of the discipline of psychology. Here Ari Berkowitz, Presidential Professor of Biology and Director of the Cellular & Behavioral Neurobiology Graduate Program at the University of Oklahoma, concludes:
So it’s not realistic to assume any human brain sex differences are innate. They may also result from learning. People live in a fundamentally gendered culture, in which parenting, education, expectations and opportunities differ based on sex, from birth through adulthood, which inevitably changes the brain.
In other words, gender differences are not biological—that is, inborn—traits but rather social constructs, normative behaviors defined and passed down by societies to tell people how they should live, think, and feel.
Lorraine Berry makes “An earnest attempt at an essential library.”
She writes, “I aimed to include those novels rooted in a writer’s emotional honesty in telling true stories about the human condition. Light on classics, the list is weighted toward books published in the past 119 years.”
She adds that we should hurry up and look at the list—before she tweaks it yet again.
How about you? What books would you add or delete from Berry’s list? Remember, you must limit the list to 40 books.
This CNN article looks at test programs that have provided robotic pets to older adults to help ease the loneliness exacerbated by the isolating restrictions of COVID-19. These programs have been conducted in Alabama, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.
So far the results look promising, but, at least in Alabama, evaluation of the program will continue over the next year.
© 2020 by Mary Daniels Brown