They are synonymous to many.
Many who don’t know what difference lies betwixt them.
Not everyone is alone not everyone likes being alone.
I don’t know how people work in a cafe, alone, drinking coffee for hours, without a word to anybody
For Rohan, an extrovert social bug, sitting alone amounts to loneliness. It isn’t his problem, our culture doesn’t get it either. Indian culture gives little value for liberty or independence. We are always in groups, celebrating festivals, weddings or dinners. Many of us still live in joint families where you don’t get a single breath alone. People don’t get why some of us like opting out of social circles, for good.
Well, my father too usually frowned upon this idea. He believes to live fully is to be surrounded by people because that’s the only way to live. You should talk more, express more and be ever-present in front of a long line of relatives because that is our tradition.
But I beg to differ.
For some of us, being surrounding by endless chatter of no greater significance than passing time, is a sheer of waste of time itself. Its probably for those who don’t seek something in life. Or for some who like to chill out while gossiping about a certain relative’s daughter or his son’s financial whereabouts. Its not wrong, its just a matter of choice.
Everybody has been given a limited set of hours, some of us like to LISTEN while some of us like to SPEAK.
There lies the difference. Difference between Solitude and loneliness is one between listening and speaking.
When you like thinking and introspecting you like SOLITUDE. More often than not it brings out the best in you. You end up creating something- a rhyme, a rhythm, a sketch or a great idea. Its like talking to your self. Meditating on your desires and wants and goals and beliefs. Be it on a bench in a park, in a cafe surrounded by warmth or in a house with all family members away. Its like striking a cord with your heart. Only when the world stops speaking, your heart begins to talk. And so you listen.
However, at times when you want to speak and don’t have somebody, you call it LONELINESS. You feel scared, depressed, seek desperate help, some words to reach your ear. In short, you need an outward help. You need a company. You feel like sharing your thoughts but have no one. Unlike solitude where you ENJOY your own company, here you would like a human or two to be there for you, with you.
Its too simple to understand and yet too difficult for many. People start pitying others for their sheer need of staying alone, calling them “weird”.
Well for those who still follow this idea, take it this way- there are two occasions on which you don’t eat a lip smacking cake that you come across in a cafe (which happens to be your favourite) :
its expensive for your pocket and you can’t buy it (that’s pity) or
You are already full in your stomach (it’s a choice).
Now did you understand the difference?