Thursday, November 26, 2009

Your Views of Friendship Concern Me...

Last night I penned a post concerning my aggravation with making friends in a different age bracket. I woke this morning to find two comments that didn't leave me feeling any better about my circumstance. The first went like this, and I quote:

"Everyone is caught up going to work and building or maintaining their relationship with their significant other and taking care of their kids and hobby of their interest. People see no real reason to add more stress and work to there life by trying to facilitate a friendship. It plays no essential role in there life right now. A friendship doesn't pay the bills like a job nor provide companionship like a spouse, it doesn't provide joy like a child does, and it doesn't captivate our interest like our hobbys do.

So you might ask what good does a friendship do?

I think a friendship might simply be a barometer for our culture as a whole showing how much we care about ourselves and how little we care about others. How selfish and materialistic we are as a culture. How many people sacrifice a friendship even with their spouse and kids to live in the house "they want" and drive the car "they want" and do the hobbies "they want." When you find yourself alone at 65 with no job to keep you busy and pay the bills. What are you going to do then?"

Wow. If this was supposed to cheer me up in any way, it didn't. In fact, it just brought up a lot more questions about friendship. Whoever the anonymous author of this comment is, he/she has some good points on friendship.
No, a friendship doesn't pay the bills.
No, a friendship doesn't provide intimate companionship
No, a friendship doesn't provide that same level of joy a child does.

But all that being said...

Why can't a friendship be as captivating as our hobbies?
Is a friendship really more "stress and work" added to one's life?
Should a friendship have to be "facilitated", like forced labor?
How can friendship not hold a place of importance in someone's life?

A friendship is as much of a hobby as any other hobby we possess. Friends are interesting, fun individuals that we like to do things with. They offer us something, and we in return offer them some attraction,  and form a symbiotic relationship. Because friendship doesn't work unless there is output from both sides.
Friendship shouldn't be a job, either. It shouldn't be considered something that adds more work and stress to our lives. If a friendship is adding stress to your life, odds are, you're doing it wrong. And it shouldn't need to be "facilitated" either. The connotations of that word are so...official and stoic. Friendships can be nurtured, but they should not be "facilitated".
Everyone needs friends. Whether or not they are aware of it, everyone needs people they can relate too, people they can laugh with, and people they feel loved by. It is a basic human function to love and want to be loved in return.

And while our society is incredibly materialistic, I refuse to believe that every last one of us would sacrifice friendship for money, status, and personal gain. It makes me sad to know that there are people in this world who would actually do something like that...
It is hard for me to grasp how those things could ever be more important than a personal relationship with someone.

So what will I be doing if I find myself alone at 65 with no job and bills to pay?
I'll have friends, that's what.


  1. I started writting in your blog... Then I started preaching to anyone who would listen.

    Then I couldn't turn the message in the way I wanted to so I in a pessimistic Jab (by no means directed at you) but our culture in general. Then I didn't have a profile to use so I used anonymous. (this is your cousin Tim)

    I feel bad that I didn't really help you. I wanted to remind you it wasn't directed at you. And let you know you had better counter points then me.

  2. Tim, it surprises me that you have such a negative view on friendship. I know it wasn't aimed at me directly, but the view itself was simply depressing. Friends and family are everything in this world...without other people, we are isolated and alone. Without other people, there is no chance for belonging. People are inherently social creatures...without people, we are essentially useless.
    Its not that it didn't help me. In fact, you presented a wonderful opportunity for me to really ponder the merits of friendship and why it is that we need friends. Sometimes without a challenge its difficult to dig into an issue and truly understand it.

  3. I have come to the realization I can't discuss this topic any further without revealing details about myself I don't feel comfortable sharing on an open forum.

    So if you want to discuss this topic any further we can do it via Email.