Before You Can Be with Others, First Learn to Be Alone

Time on your own means time to tell the difference between right and wrong.


 

 

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper (1942) via Wikimedia Commons

In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn. His excruciating despair could be temporarily relieved only by immersing himself in a tumultuous throng of city-dwellers. ‘He refuses to be alone,’ Poe wrote. He ‘is the type and the genius of deep crime … He is the man of the crowd.’ 

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