How a Whale Inspired Thoughts on Loneliness
I’m an animal person, so any story involving animals is bound to get at my emotions. Recently, I came across a Facebook post about “the loneliest whale,” which broke my heart. So, of course, I had to research this poor creature.
According to the Facebook post, this particular whale calls out at a different frequency than other whales. The use of this frequency creates the possibility that no other whale can hear it. How sad is that? Maybe the reason it’s so sad is that, as humans, we crave connection, and how often do we feel as if no one understands us? How often do we feel as if we are singing a song that no one seems to hear?
Well, the truth is the whale affectionately referred to as “the loneliest whale” is known and has been tracked by scientists for decades. In fact, having a whale who doesn’t vocalize in the same pitch may not be uncommon after all. Even more than that, the research indicates though the whale’s sounds are different, it does not mean he (yes, the whale is male) is not heard at all. Rather, he just sounds differently.
How often have we, as humans, felt similarly? How often have we felt that we sound so different that no one responds to our own calls for connection?
We can be surrounded by others but still feel so incredibly left out. But just because we may be a little different doesn’t mean we are alone. That whale just sounds different, but it doesn’t mean he is lonely. Scientists really cannot confirm that he is or that he isn’t. The point is, we may feel like we don’t fit in or we are struggling on our own, but we have the power to reach out to others, even if our voices are different. In turn, we have the power to empower those different voices and show them that being different does not have to equate to loneliness. We all sing a little differently, but we are all still human.
How exactly does that whale sound to other whales, and how do they respond? Only science can tell us that. How do we respond to the call for connection? Only we get to decide.