So you can read my books

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Does FRIENDSHIP mean anything anymore?

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. 
"I just wanted to be sure of you.” 
- A.A. Milne

Facebook users average about 338 "friends" each.

But how many of those "friends" would lend you money?

Let you crash at their home in an emergency?

Visit you in prison?

On FB, people tend to collect "friends

like many collect stamps or ticket stubs ... 

for the fun of seeing how many they can amass.  

But being and having a real friend takes time ... 

and we are a hurry-up culture with short attention spans.

Like C. S. Lewis wrote:

“Like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself…
 friendship has no survival value;

 rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

 But in today's culture, what does "friendship" even mean?

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

“A friend is a person with whom one may be sincere.”

Eighteen centuries before Emerson, Seneca wrote:

"If you consider a man a friend whom you do not trust as yourself, you are mistaken.

Friendship creates a partnership between two people in all their interests.  No misfortune, no blessing finds one alone."

Early friendships play a vital role because they occur while key developmental changes are taking place. 

They help teach us some of those important life skills but also shape our life “narrative.”

 A key finding from a major study of adults' lives was that 

those who had close, long-term friends fared better than those who were less social.

Close friendships enhanced moods and functioning as well as emotional and physical health.

The novels I go back to like the Spencer For Hire and Longmire mysteries 

draw me again and again for the friendships and witty banter between two souls linked by similar spirits.

I am re-reading (re-listening actually,) 

Project Pope --

There are those among the Clifford D. Simak faithful who consider Project Pope his masterpiece:

In the farthest edges of our galaxy, 

earth-created robots' breathtaking search for God in the vast universe 

ingeniously blends science and spirituality in a truly miraculous way 

that few science fiction writers, if any, have been able to accomplish. 

Thinking their programming has denied them the ability to feel love, 

the robots discover it as they become friends with one another and two humans.

It is the budding friendship between a face-scarred reporter and a lonely doctor,

the friendship between that reporter and an equally lonely robot cardinal,

and the friendship between a star castaway and the searching doctor

that draws me again and again to this novel.

Is friendship important 
in the novels you read?

In your life?


  1. Friendships are very important in my stories. For my character Charity, her story begins on an evening when she's with her best friend, and in a few chapters she befriends another young woman and pretty much saves her life. For me, Charity's ability to make and keep good friends is perhaps her best quality.

    1. In my End of Days, the friendships between 4 lonely girls help save reality as we know it. I like friendship, too!

  2. I have just a handful of true friends.
    Friendship was the theme of my very first book.

    1. I know. I thought of you when I wrote this post. :-)

  3. I think Facebook has given "friend" a whole new definition. The word doesn't seem as meaningful as it once was.

    (By the way, I still can't stand it when "friend" is used as a verb, even though it was actually first used that way hundreds of years ago.)

    1. Yes, but we don't live hundreds of years ago -- and, like you, I think FB has cheapened the term "friendship."

  4. You just reminded me I need to write my friend in Sweden. I have known her since 1946. We email a couple of times a year, but if I needed to go there and needed a place to stay, I would be welcome. No doubt.

    1. Yes, letters are so much more tangible and meaningful than emails. Give my best to Judy and Solomon -- Faith is too chipper to be said hello to by a stranger! :-)

  5. Hi Roland - I really don't like 'friending' everyone ... way too cheap and ephemeral. Sometimes one goes with the flow on a staid level ... yet sometimes we can feel an affinity in our blogging conversations rather than eclectic random notations on FB ... Cheers Hilary