The Value of Purposeful Solitude

Sylvanus A AYENI, M.D.
5 min readJun 30, 2022
Photo by Toni Reed on Unsplash

We, members of the species Homo sapiens are wired for social relationships via Creation, Evolution, Grand Design, or whatever other Origin of Species theory one believes in.

However many, if not most notable human accomplishments and recovery from rock bottom situations require laying all down in silence for a while and entering a special period of contemplation, mindfulness and being alone.

This article is about voluntary solitude. Involuntary solitude will be addressed in a later piece.

Why is it necessary to temporarily suspend close associations and even communications with other humans and move away from the noise in our orbit for days, weeks, months or even years?

Because rarely does someone accomplish so much in so little time as when one is engaged in Purposeful Solitude.

Now, let’s define our term.

What is Purposeful Solitude?

In short form, one can conceive of Purposeful Solitude as: A state of being alone for contemplation, claim the promise of an Examined Life, and thereafter march forward with courage, sturdiness, wisdom, hope and humility.

In long form, Purposeful Solitude can be construed as: A state of being alone for contemplation with thankfulness and contentment, yet hungry for tomorrow’s victory; embraces forgiveness, eschews anger and bitterness, is anchored on faith, wisdom, courage, hope, and is free of feelings of depression and fear. Sorry if that sounds like a mouthful.

Solitude by itself is meaningless unless it wraps the past and the present into a better, virtuous, meaningful future.

It may be asked: What gives this guy the audacity to provide definitions for Solitude?

After all, the word can be looked up in Webster’s College Dictionary or just go to that ubiquitous landing spot — Google.

Well, a couple of credentials in addition to the snippets out there.

1. I’m now in the upper half of the line between three score and ten(70), and four scores in human existence. I have spent quite sometime in solitude not only in Africa and in the USA but also during my stay in Germany (Hannover and Fulda) and Japan (Osaka) in the…

Sylvanus A AYENI, M.D.

Neurosurgeon. Founder, Pan Africa Children Advocacy Watch(PACAW Inc) Author: RESCUE THYSELF: Change In Sub-Saharan Africa Must Come From Within