If nobody hears and responds to you today, will you cease to exist?
All social animals seem to need to experience themselves reflected in the responses and reactions of others. The lucky ones are born into an accepting tribe with a mother capable of nurture, but what about those that are born "different" or to a mother who has no nurturing capability? In the lower animals, the offspring are either killed, or nursed by others, or neglected until they die. The strongest and most aggressive of the group may survive, but as extremely aggressive and territorial members of their societies.
There is evidence of "failure to thrive" in children and the elderly. While the symptoms may vary, there seems to be a general "giving up" in those that are ignored because of their inability to produce what society deems useful.
Many people attempt to indicate that we are to find strength within ourselves, or in a spiritual realm, but we are made to be social beings. To deny our need to be acknowledged and appreciated is to deny our very human natures, which, in my opinion, is the animal nature endowed with, not only a spark of divinity, but also with the freedom to choose with whom we will associate.
The course of all human religion seems to point toward the very human need to define a group that will acknowledge and accept us and our spark of divinity, and put protective boundaries around us and our tribe. What are we to become without a socially accepting and protecting tribe of those who honestly lives within its boundaries?