In Carl Sagan’s book Contact, the alien who greets Eleanor Arroway when she finally arrives at the destination of her journey, tells her: “You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.” That statement pretty much sums it up. Without each other what do we have? Even on such a beautiful home as Earth, without someone to share our joys, sorrows, accomplishments, thoughts, feelings we would be so alone. Loneliness would overtake us and slowly drain us of the will to live. You see we are social beings. It is hardwired into our being. We develop, we flourish, when we have stimulation from others. As newborns it is what we need for our physiology to properly develop. A child who does not receive enough touch, stimulation, can actually end up with holes in the structure of their brain where development did not take place. These holes can be large enough to put a nickle (U.S. coin valued at 5 pennies) inside and turn it around. We can end up with holes in our personality, in our spirit if we don’t experience enough loving touch, stimulation, feedback, from one another.
Touch and stimulation are keys for our growth and development as humans. And what about when we’ve reached a state of mature physical development? Then we’re faced with the issues of physical care and maintenance and ongoing mental/emotional/spiritual development.
Without each other we would never be born, never develop as human beings and would find this life, ultimately, unbearably lonely. And the thing is, we never know who is going to be the next person who contributes a word, a look, or a touch to our lives and by doing so, provides us with either the direction or the motivation or both to take the next step that we need to take.
As human beings we are all a part of the body of humanity and within that body our harmonious interaction can keep the body alive and well. Or by dissonance we can tear humanity apart, and ourselves in the process.