A week before Thanksgiving, the World Health Organization declared loneliness a new public health crisis. While it’s great that global leaders are recognizing the dangerous social and even physical risks of social isolation, this crisis is anything but new.
The WHO’s new declaration will lead to more research into the detrimental effects loneliness can have on our health and a new “Commission on Social Connection,” to “promote social connection as a priority and accelerate the scaling up of solutions.”
Bureaucracy-speak aside, any successful efforts to “promote social connection” must take into account what it means to be human. We aren’t defective machines or problems to be solved. We are persons created in the image of God, made for connection with Him and with one another. We need families. We need dads. We need to be the kind of people who bear with one another, even across distance and relational tension. This means we need hearts of flesh that only God–not statecraft–can give us.
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