The Ties That Keep Us Safe

Ross Douthat writes:

As the University of Virginia sociologist Brad Wilcox pointed out recently, there’s a strong link between suicide and weakened social ties…

…The hard question facing 21st-century America is whether this retreat from community can reverse itself, or whether an aging society dealing with structural unemployment and declining birth and marriage rates is simply destined to leave more people disconnected, anxious and alone.

(Emphasis mine.)

We as a society decide what is important to us.

We need to let go of definitions of liberty that focus on being unconstrained by the needs, wishes, and feelings of others, social conventions, obligations, or consequences. The people we belong to – our friends and family, our networks and our communities – are what make life worth it, yet we systematically undervalue that which ties us together.