The Talmud lists seven possible reasons as to why a person can find himself isolated and lonely in life. One of the key elements that runs through all seven is that the person happens to be stingy, not just in terms of his money, but in terms of his spirit.

He is unable to look at those around him benevolently and be gracious to them or share any of his blessings, so he has to live alone for one week and introspect. However, he is not allowed to return to society until he interacts with a cohen (priest), a spiritual person who will tell him when he is ready to rejoin society.

The idea here is that the best way to wake us up to the opportunities life presents us is to have a role model, a person who can inspire us, someone who isn’t petty, but is patient, gracious, and generous. The right role model can do more for us than all the books and lectures in the world.