The sad death of another student desiring of acceptance to a fraternity has reminded me once again how despite all the affectations we may assume, in spite of all the sophistication we from time to time want to convey to the world, we are all, deep inside, just a solitary people needing the warmth of other people's friendship.
How else would you explain the deep aspiration for a seemingly intelligent young man to subject himself to physical torture just to belong to a clique he can call his own?
Aristotle wrote that a man who doesn't need the companionship of other people, who doesn't feel the need to join the polis, is either a god or a beast. Yet, irony of ironies, the ideal good life outlined by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, is one that is meditative, a solitary pursuit.
How does one join other people in various human pursuits and still retain the space to privately pursue a meditative life? If you pursue the warmth of human companionship, you, surely at one point, are bound to be disappointed, even brutally hurt and disillusioned. Friends betray each other, lovers part for newfound love, an apprentice trumps his master, a UP pledge sometimes get beaten to death all in the hope of human friendship and fraternity.
Really, what is the value of a human relationship attained thus? It must needs be better to be a hungry wolf that hunts the world in solitude. You may not be Aristotle's solitary god, but a troglodytic beast will survive in the wild best.