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President's Ponderings: View into Isolation
 

By Edward Luttrell - President's Ponderings Blog (1/7/11)

  JANUARY 10, 2011 --

Yesterday was one of those days where I spent it in airports and in the air. One of the treats of air travel is time to catch up on reading, since there is seldom room to use the computer.

The book that I read was one that I bought a few months ago and just hadn't had time to get to. The reason I bought it was that it is written by a distant cousin who I've never met.

"In the Wake of the Frontier" by Ruth Vincent is about her experiences in Alaska in the early 1950's. While I found the book fascinating due to both the mention of a few family members I knew and the reality of Alaska before statehood, the account of how she dealt with isolation was inspiring.

The experiences she outlined are a view into the past, more specifically the situation that was common in rural America following the civil war. Can you imagine going to town once or twice during the year? Can you imagine not seeing another person of your own gender for months?

The question that also crossed my mind was, is isolation still an issue today? Are people who spend the majority of their time on the internet, experiencing a new form of isolation? I believe that we are social by nature and I question if the internet can substitute for real person to person interaction. On the other hand are people who spurn the internet experiencing a different form of information isolation?

The role of organizations, like the Grange, that bring people together is still strong and necessary even though true isolation has become extremely rare.

 
 
 
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