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LAURENCE PRINGLE'S BLOG

Good at Being Alone, Not Lonely

In Trevor Noah's newly published autobiography, BORN A CRIME, he writes this about his childhood: "I didn't have any friends. I didn't know any kids besides my cousins. I wasn't a lonely kid--I was good at being alone. I'd read books, play with a toy that I had, make up imaginary worlds. I lived inside my head. To this day you can leave me alone for hours and I'm perfectly happy entertaining myself."

Though our childhoods were vastly different, mine was like his in this one way. You could say I was a neglected child. My brother and I were very different. We clashed and competed for scare parental attention. So I was alone a lot, but not lonely. I had books to read and--especially--I had the outdoors to explore, usually alone. And it was there, in the woods and fields, and beside the creeks and ponds, in the Hopper Hills area south of Rochester, NY, that the foundation was laid for my fascination with the natural world.
This led to college degrees in wildlife conservation, and writing quite a few books!
So, given my experience, I believe that "being alone, but not lonely" is a good quality,
and one that parents might consider encouraging in their children.
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