Friendship is a single soul living in two bodies-Aristotle. This is the depth of a true friendship. Yes, they do exist. They are rare and from what I recognize they usually start off in childhood. Sometimes we meet true friends in high school or college. True friendships are defined by their quality. When trust, love and genuine concern are among the elements in the relationship it is real.
Aristotle being a realistic man went on to state this “there are three types of friends: those based on usefulness (contacts), on pleasure (drinking buddies) and on a shared pursuit of virtue (the highest form of all). True friends, he contended, are simply drawn to the goodness in one another, goodness that today we might define in terms of common passions and sensibilities.
I asked the question because as I observe the type of relationships that are passing off as true friendship. It intrigued me to see so many different types that did not come close to what true friendship is. We are now in the details age of social networking, where according to stats for every one person there is one hundred and thirty friends, really? I don’t doubt the performance of social networking nor do the fun millions find in this tool. However, I read somewhere we may only get up to four true friends in our life time
Friendship and Well Being
I have provided a few stats about friendship and well-being. I hope you enjoy them.
1. Those who have friends over a nine year period cut their risk of death by more than 60%.
2. Dr.Dean Ornish,a pioneer in treating heart disease, notes that no other factor in medicine-”not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery- has a greater effect on how often we get sick than the healing power of love.”
3. In one study, women saw “volunteer friends “regularly during the year.72% had remission in depression. That’s about the same success rate as lithium.
4. You will go through 396 friends in a lifetime but will have only 33 at one time.
5. Studies show certainly that it’s the friendship part of marriage that makes it last.
6. Very rarely do they speak on the phone, and they are even less likely to meet face to face. One in 3 people admit they have silent friends and they say they make contact with them up to 4 times a year.
7. People with a strong social network are more likely to survive a major illness such as heart attack or cancer. Human friendship can also help reduce the effects of stress on the body, protect against illness and help us heal when we get sick. They are also less susceptible to chronic diseases such as heart disease, inflammation bowel disease and arthritis.
8. The famed Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School were so significant, the experts concluded, that not having close friends was as damaging to your health as smoking and carrying extra weight.