Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., addresses the prevalence of loneliness in modern culture and lays out simple, inspirational methods for building the human connections society needs to thrive.
As a newly qualified doctor, Murthy found himself unprepared to treat patients for their most common ailment: loneliness. It was a subject that was never addressed in medical school. Years later, as the U.S. Surgeon General under President Obama, he came to realize that social isolation is the common denominator behind many chronic illnesses and that the fear and mistrust engendered by isolation is partly responsible for some of society's most challenging problems such as opioid addiction, gun violence and political polarization.
Murthy is a compassionate messenger and the healing power of social connection is his rallying cry. He draws from remarkable stories of successful community building efforts across the U.S., as well as his own experience as a child of immigrants to advocate for a new cultural focus that respects individual expression while honoring themes from traditional collectivist societies. The idea is to inspire human connection by creating opportunities for people to meet informally and help their neighbors, share stories and meals and slowly build trust and familiarity. A city-wide kindness initiative started by former Mayor Tom Tait of Anaheim, Calif., is a potent example of how one motivated individual can heal and transform entire neighborhoods.
Together is a timely guide packed with uplifting anecdotes that will resonate with and galvanize those who wish for more warmth and genuine friendships within their communities. --Shahina Piyarali, writer and reviewer