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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 24, 2007 / 6 Iyar, 5767

Loners Aren't Losers

By Lenore Skenazy


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The minute she heard about the massacre in Virginia, author Anneli Rufus knew what was coming next. "It was almost a countdown," she said. "Five, four, three, two, one — here comes the L word!"


And so it did. "He was a loner," school spokesman Larry Hincker said, describing the shooter, Cho Seung-Hui.


Oh, he was a loner ? Well, that explains everything! He got sick of eating lunch by himself, so he killed 32 people. It's a script as old as "Taxi Driver" — older, even. The only problem is, it's wrong.


Rufus, author of the loner manifesto, "Party of One," would like to set the record straight: Loners don't kill people. Lonely people kill people. There's a big difference.


"The loner is a person who feels very comfortable alone," she said. "Loneliness doesn't even occur to them. A whole weekend could go by and it's 6 on a Sunday and they say, 'Oh! I haven't talked to anyone,' and that's cool."


Loners harbor no rage toward the world that didn't stop by for tea. They didn't want to chat anyway.


Lonely folks, on the other hand, feel frantic when they can't connect. "Loneliness is associated with just about everything bad," said University of Rochester psychology professor Harry Reis. "Lonely people die earlier, they have all sorts of problems. It's the No. 1 cause of suicide."


And it figures in violence, too. "I've done a lot of reading about criminals and often I find that these are people who could not get accepted into a clique, a club, a relationship. They're hurt and they want revenge," said Rufus. In other words: People who need people are (potentially) the most violent people in the world.


People who don't need people, however, are the ones nobody trusts.


Happy-go-lucky loners get lumped together with needy nuts because, to the outside world, these very different groups look the same: They're the ones sitting out the picnic. And since it's hard for most people to imagine anyone choosing solitude, onlookers assume they must be sad. Or snobby. Or packing heat.


Then, too, there's the self-fulfilling headline writing (we) the press are guilty of.


Google "loner" and "gunman" and you will find a slew of slayers, some of whom held very social jobs, like hairdresser and doctor. Was there ever a loner hairdresser? But Google "gossipy" and "gunman" and — forget it.


Though we automatically think of our criminals as loners (and vice versa), the fact is some of the most admired people in history have preferred solitude to speed dating, beginning with Isaac Newton, who didn't even like playing with other kids as a child.


J.D. Salinger, Albert Einstein and Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring," all enjoyed spending more time with their thoughts (or at least fish) than with other people, as did John Lennon, Franz Kafka and Stanley Kubrick. Emily Dickinson spoke to people through a partly closed door for a good part of her life — the "poster child for reclusiveness," says Rufus. She was a loner, yes, but her poems don't sound lonely. They sound full of life.


In fact, the desire to be alone has zero correlation with any kind of psychopathology, said Dr. Robert Archer, a psychiatry professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. "The world is quite full of introverted people who are quite safe to live next door."


And if, by some chance, the one next door to you isn't — well, at least we know how you'll describe him on the 10 o'clock news.

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© 2007, Creators Syndicate

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