No human being should find themselves in a position of begging for friendships, but sometimes it happens when all you have got is possibly two close ones that would trigger a heart ache if they elevated or demoted themselves, however you would like to see it, to a class higher or lower to your proffered friendship.
I was watching sometime back on TED about a research that was conducted to figure out the determinant factor of how long you will live on this earth. Placing everything on the table, including but not limited to alcohol, sex, smoking, exercise, healthy eating, poverty, richness etc. The researchers were dumfounded to discover that the foremost and the most dominant factor for your longevity is social structure. The friends you have, people you talk to daily, and the number of times you meet to have fun.
Another poignant study concluded that loneliness kills thirteen times faster than smoking.
Pondering on this data, one thing comes to mind that everyone just wants to be loved. Simple and straightforward. It is then rather unfortunate that we sometimes hurt albeit unawares people that would love to be close to us.
How did the world get to this? A situation that now calls for a country like Britain to create a new Cabinet position and appoint a loneliness minister. Maybe, Britain was just brave enough to admit that something is not right. Far east In Japan, they now have a tricky situation at hand, they have high suicide rates and the experts suggest that it is due to life pressures, meanwhile news coming from that same conduit say that Japan has a sex problem. Young people are not having sex and as a result birth rates have declined, I think there is a correlation here. Mind you, the west has been known to have relatively low birth rates, but not occasioning from a sex problem like Japan, in the west it is more of a choice and at the end of it all Japan shall cite loneliness and in-ability to make new friendships that lead to romantic relationships as the cause of this social problem.
By the way African countries, or shit hole countries, or whatever we fancy calling ourselves are not devoid of loneliness. It is only that sometimes, between searching for bread and the ever-elusive money to survive, while at the same time stomaching corruption, we push issues such as loneliness and lack of social structures at the dragon’s tail. We are somehow lucky that Africa has a DNA of coming together as a people since the beginning. But at the rate we are changing as a society, friendships better begin to matter or else …
As I ponder on this mind-boggling data, I am reminded that late last year I lost a whopping mega amount of old friendships, a situation that arose from incompatibility, tastelessness, mutually exclusive life journeys and unsurmountable shenanigans and currently I am holding on a thread of only a few people who if they slipped through my fingers I might easily slump into depression or something closely related.
But how did it get into this. At the core of who we are, friendships are critical support structures that reach at the roots of our souls. Is it because friendships are least understood, or they are not respected enough by some parties within them or there is just too much judgement within and without.
Sometimes you try too desperately to love a friend and they work hard to frustrate you and maybe they just reach out when it suits them or other times we peg friendships on something material such as a car or something.
Friendships are meant to be easy, full of humour, awesome drama, disturbances such as raiding friends fridges, bags and make shift pantries just so because, hang outs, emotional support, pure genuine love, warmness, closeness, roasts and everything else that tickles a bone.
Over a glass of Juice, wine or whisky with friends, there you realise what it means to live.
This post is simply me pondering and if you would love to have a sit down with me over whisky as we talk more on what maketh a human being I’ll be glad, just drop a line.
What do you think of friendships yourself? Comment. On the next article we shall explore further on this issue