Loneliness… It is easy to say. Only those who experienced it know it. Your years have passed with nothing to show for it. You notice that you are regarded as a “nothing”. None of your attributes, neither your love, your knowledge nor your anger are worth anything.

You are alone. Totally alone! You are in darkness. And if there is no beloved, like your country for instance, it is as if you are in a grave. There is not a soul who notices your tears, hears you sobbing. Imagine an aged person who doesn’t have anyone, or someone who immigrated to a foreign country… Images of those forlorn men, women, or even worse of children whom you see on the streets but want to pass by as quickly as possible. People who have noone, whose journey ends in the cemetery of father Adam… It is not a plate of food they need, it is lots of affectionate conversation… Where is the warmth of a friendship… They appear like callus souls to you, don’t they? But is that the reality? As someone who has spent many years alone I can say this much: It is definitely not so! Rest assured, no soul ever forms calluses… When after the long days and months I spent abroad on my own I came back to my most beloved country, and heard sound of the call for prayer… even now my heart aches when I remember it. That sound told me: “You are not alone. Millions share your emotions”. Sadly there can be days when you are so lonely you don’t even hear this sound. Like me you can be treated as a “nothing” in your own country. Towards the end of those times which were spent in such loneliness, my dear friend Ismet held a dinner for me. I remember as if it were yesterday, I said: “But… I am not worth all this”! I doubt that even he understood the depth of my feelings… As I said, only someone who has lived through it can understand the pain of loneliness. Loneliness harbours a feeling of expectation. A voice, a glance of which you want to be sure that it is just for you. Human kind knows the pain of loneliness well… Why else would incarceration in cells be the biggest punishment. Come, let us think from time to time of people who are lonely. Let us consider what can be done to cheer up their souls. And let us act, like Mevlana, like Hacı Bektaş, so that we feel part of those who are at the beginning of the path to paradise… In short, let us put joy into souls, with a sound, a glance, a warm word, a friendly conversation, the warmth of friendship… What would happen anyway, what would we lose? Let us not forget that they too have love to offer, and knowledge, and sometimes anger, but at least the presence of an attribute of theirs…

Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan