Would You Like to Be The Minister of Loneliness?

May 21, 2024

Would You Like to Be The Minister of Loneliness?

May 29, 2023

Both the UK and Japan have appointed Ministers of Loneliness. Dr. Ruth was recently appointed by the state of New York as the nation’s first Loneliness Ambassador. Maybe there’s a growth industry in loneliness? Sadly, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently said that, from a health perspective, loneliness is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Worse yet, lonely people smoke more.

I recently read this article from the Greater Good Science Center (our faculty member Dacher Keltner’s UC Berkeley institute) focused on why middle-aged Americans are so lonely. The researcher cites a number of factors: midlife is more stressful than the past, possibly due to the “sandwich generation” phenomenon; a more challenging economic climate and less of a safety net from the government; and the rugged individualist nature of American culture. In continental Europe (France, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Israel) and Nordic Europe (Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden), loneliness levels are much lower, and they haven’t risen as much over time.

While few people self-identify as lonely when they arrive at MEA, it’s clear pretty quickly that people are thirsty for deep, rich conversations and a sense of belonging far more than they expected. It’s part of the reason we have more than 400 alums joining us in Santa Fe this weekend for our annual Alumni Homecoming. 

How would you propose the U.S. tackle the epidemic of loneliness, especially for those in midlife?

-Chip

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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From Conventional to Intentional: Attune to Your Purpose with Zee Clarke

August 5, 2024
 to 
August 10, 2024
Santa Fe, USA
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Cultivating Purpose with Jeff Hamaoui & Lori Schwanbeck

August 5, 2024
 to 
August 10, 2024
Santa Fe, USA
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The Bonus Round: Crafting a Meaningful Post-Work Chapter

September 17, 2024
 to 
September 22, 2024
Santa Fe, USA

A Lifetime of Women’s Wellness: Thriving through Transitions with Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz

June 24, 2024
 to 
June 29, 2024
Santa Fe, USA

Navigating Transitions with Barb Tint & Jeff Hamaoui

Jun 24, 2024
 to 
Jun 29, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Navigating Transitions with Barb Tint & Jeff Hamaoui

June 24, 2024
 to 
June 29, 2024
Baja, Mexico
Jun 24, 2024
 to 
Jun 29, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Navigating Transitions with Christine Sperber

Jul 1, 2024
 to 
Jul 6, 2024
Santa Fe, USA
Jul 1, 2024
 to 
Jul 6, 2024
Santa Fe, USA

Navigating Transitions with Christine Sperber

July 1, 2024
 to 
July 6, 2024
Santa Fe, USA
Jul 1, 2024
 to 
Jul 6, 2024
Santa Fe, USA