Isolation can be seen as beneficial or detrimental. Isolating one’s self can reboot and unwind the brain, improve concentration, increase productivity, provide opportunities to discover yourself and find your own voice, provides time for you to think deeply, help you work through problems more effectively and enhance the quality of your relationships with others. On the other hand, people who live in seclusion perceive stress more strongly than social people, are more likely to become depressed and have worsened social interactions.
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The author of The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel, has tried isolating himself before, but could not withhold social interactions for more than a few hours. Finkel believes that isolation is beneficial, but interacting with humans is necessary.
So, what is the essential nature of humanity? Is it to cooperate or dominate? It depends on both the goal, and the individual. How do humans evaluate all things, in order to make decisions? Emotional value, which is determined by a combination of our genes, our experience and knowledge, the environment, our physical, mental, and emotional states, and more. Most of these factors are constantly changing, which changes many emotional values. Humans, by will power alone, cannot alter the emotional value of anything. If we could, then we would choose to be happy all the time. We’d be able to enjoy the foods we hate, and enjoy the company of people we dislike. However, lies, half-truths, rumors, and the opinion of others, can and does alter the emotional value of most things.
The effect humans have on each other is part of what makes up the essential nature of humanity. The relationships we build, along with the opinions we develop, are what creates social patterns, behaviors, etc. After reading the biography of a man, Christopher Knight, who was a hermit for twenty-seven years, one might think that the essential nature of humanity is enhanced when alone,
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