You know how women, on average, live several years longer than men? Have you ever paused to wonder why that is? Columnist Courtney E. Martin has an idea that blew my mind. “Men, on average, die five years younger than women,” she notes, before concluding, “researchers believe that a big part of that gap is about social isolation. In other words, men are dying to some extent, because they undervalue friendship.” Think about what we see on TV and movies, and quite possibly in your life: More often than not it’s the WOMEN who get TOGETHER in book clubs, ladies GATHER to drink wine, we see females going to a girlfriend to seek comfort, and so on. Meanwhile, the archetypal MAN is self-sufficient, strong, and often ALONE. Courtney and my point is it seems women value connection and community, while men focus on competition.
I’m convinced it’s essential to share life together. Love is the most powerful and renewable resource in the universe. And it seems, perhaps, the wisdom we can take from women living longer than men backs this up. When we’re connected in loving communities we freely and naturally pour life into one another. This leads to people who are connected living richer and longer lives than people who are not.
With this in mind, today I invite you to practice being more connected with others. Share. Encourage. Hug. High-five. Be vulnerable. Be real. Smile. Life is better together.