The Opposite of Loneliness – A Comment

Marina Keegan, a 22-year old Yale graduate,  passed away some days ago in a car crash. She wrote a really touching essay tagged “The Opposite of Loneliness”, which was published recently in a school periodical. (The essay can be found at

Her words strike me as insightful, as they draw attention to the social, communal spirit of the human person within us. She is thankful for community (like we all should be) but, at the same time,  is a little scared of the unknown future that lies outside the walls of Yale. Her appreciation for the too-often-taken-for-granted presence of others strikes me deeply. It is a blessing from God that we do not sufficiently celebrate. A solitary life is torture. It is a life bereft of its true purpose. We were made, each one of us, to bless others in some way or the other. Every vocation or work or career involves adding value or rendering service of some sort to others. And this cannot be done as the sole occupant of some Caribbean island. Interestingly, the prospect of losing this ‘web we’re in’ was Marina’s greatest fear.

Her essay is the reflection of someone who has had some experiences of life and is about to commence another stage of exploration. About to enter into a new era , she senses the anxiety that often accompanies the launch of a new venture. She however meets her apprehension with an optimism that is both impressive and, I must say, pitifully unfounded. In her words,

‘But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old.’

‘We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time.’

Our lives are under God’s administration. He is sovereign over our lives and our time. According to James, our lives are as transient as vapour; we are today, but we’re gone tomorrow (James 4:14). Her own sudden demise is a testament to this sobering truth.

May our confidence and hope be in the God who preserves and in Jesus, His Son, who redeems. (Amen).



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