This really struck me!

The Harvard neuropsychiatrist John Ratey, an expert researcher on the “social brain," wrote, "Our highest human virtue is our connection with other humans, and social activity is basic to our health and happiness. Our brains are preprogrammed to look for other humans from the moment of birth, and continuing social interaction is essential for normal development throughout our life. As much as individuals must be able to fight or flee in order to survive, we have a central dependence on others. We are designed for group living. People who become significantly lonely as they age die younger than people who spend more time in healthy social groups, and healthy social groups can alleviate symptoms of depression, among other mental illnesses. We are wired to be together even though at times we just want to be alone. As we age we need a kind of support that a circle of similarly aged friends can give us--support, love, freedom appropriate to who we are now. Friends make us stronger and happier--usually!!”

From The Wonder of Aging, A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty by Michael Gurian