There are many kinds of friendship. The ancient Greeks said that there are many kinds of friendship. There are friendship that are self serving. You help me, I help you. There are friendships that center on an activity such as going to a football game. And there are friendships where we love the other person. St Augustine said that ‘A true friend is another self.” When we have a true friend we desire what is best for them.
The first two types of friendship will disappear as soon as the circumstances in life change. Aristotle said that we are only able to have 2 to 3 true friends in life. While we might have many people in our life that we are friendly with. St Thomas Aquinas said that friendship is the highest form of love.
In today Gospel Jesus call us friends. Jesus says to us, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”
Jesus says to us, “I call you friends.” One of the qualities of friendship is that you can only be friends with an equal. A Dog is not meant to be our best friend. But is is true that for many who lack friends a dog or cat can serve as very valuable companion. So when Jesus calls us friends. Jesus is proclaiming a certain equality between us and Him. Jesus has come down from Heaven, and He has raised us up. Jesus relates to us in a certain sense as equals. Jesus calls us friends. Because Jesus is our friend He shares His Life His secrets with us. St Francis De Sales tells us, “Jesus is a lover that is constantly speaking to us.”
Jesus is your friend. Jesus wants to be your best friend.
With these thoughts on friendship in mind. Here is an article on friendship that came out in 2006.
25 Percent of American have no one to confide in a 2006 study discovered.
study: 25% of Americans have no one to confide in
Updated 6/22/2006 10:42 PM ET
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By Janet Kornblum, USA TODAY
Americans have a third fewer close friends and confidants than just two decades ago — a sign that people may be living lonelier, more isolated lives than in the past.
In 1985, the average American had three people in whom to confide matters that were important to them, says a study in today’s American Sociological Review. In 2004, that number dropped to two, and one in four had no close confidants at all.
“You usually don’t see that kind of big social change in a couple of decades,” says study co-author Lynn Smith-Lovin, professor of sociology at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Close relationships are a safety net, she says. “Whether it’s picking up a child or finding someone to help you out of the city in a hurricane, these are people we depend on.”
Also, research has linked social isolation and loneliness to mental and physical illness.
The study finds fewer contacts are from clubs and neighbors; people are relying more on family, a phenomenon documented in the 2000 book Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam, a Harvard public policy professor.
The percentage of people who confide only in family increased from 57% to 80%, and the number who depend totally on a spouse is up from 5% to 9%, the study found. “If something happens to that spouse or partner, you may have lost your safety net,” Smith-Lovin says.
The study is based on surveys of 1,531 people in 1985 and 1,467 in 2004, part of the General Social Survey by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
Not everyone sees such a dire picture. People still have other friends, sociologist Barry Wellman of the University of Toronto says. “We have a lot of ties that aren’t super strong but are still pretty important.”
Why people have fewer close friends is unclear, Putnam says. “This is a mystery like Murder on the Orient Express, in which there are multiple culprits.”
The chief suspects: More people live in the suburbs and spend more time at work, Putnam says, leaving less time to socialize or join groups.
Also, people have more entertainment tools such as TV, iPods and computers, so they can stay home and tune out. But some new trends, such as online social networking, may help counter the effect, he says.