The lost art of Friendship

Friendship is the bedrock of any society. Strong connections with others that have similar goals in life are instrumental in leading a productive and healthy life. As we have become advanced in so many ways, the societal norms have changed dramatically as well. There was once something called social contract, a series of unwritten rules that everyone followed that made for a more harmonious existence. This construct has become muddied over the decades until we are left with isolated pockets where they still exist but in ramshackle form. Other areas are devoid of any social construct, and society has seemingly reverted to its roots of tribalism and dog eat dog. 

They say if you show me a mans’ friends I’ll tell who that man is. While this was an adequate form of measurement in more simplistic times, the nature of friendship has evolved past such a simple explanation. Even among the lowest of society betrayal among confidences is commonplace. The majority of people appear to view others as tools to get from point a to point b. Loyalty is in place as long as money and or power are held over the heads of those that choose the self-serving path in life. There is an old western expression that I enjoy quite well, ‘ride for the brand.’ People don’t embrace loyalty in that sense anymore. They see dollar signs and stepping stones to their imagined greatness. Loyalty and trust built upon a principle of honor are becoming extinct in modern society.

In modern times we tend to view the world as a reflection of our beliefs and motivations. In a society where honor and trust have become such a rare commodity seeing the world through glasses tainted by betrayal and deceit can only build a cancer that eats at the soul of our nation. As we project our misgivings upon everyone else, then we as a society find it difficult to trust and become close to our fellow citizens. True friendship is growing rare, and it is a lack of trust and basic human respect that has contributed to its downfall. Sure you might have acquaintances but who would walk in the door when all others have walked out? I can tell you that very few will uphold such a principle of honor. That is when you discover who cares and who doesn’t.

When you discover these real gems in your life, you had better redouble your commitment to loyalty to these friends for life.  We live in a fair weather society, and fair-weather friends are quick to grow and quick to disappear. When you discover those you can ride the rive with,  hold on to them because you’ve found someone that you can face the trials and tribulations of this world. I think it’s a lack of basic morals that has led us to the nearly friendless society we have now. We’ve forgotten the golden rule, ‘Do unto others.’ We don’t need many friends, but if we want to be a healthy society, we do need a few close friends. We’ve lost sight of the forest, because of the trees. Sensory overload and a fast-paced life have significantly reduced the time modern people devote to making real connections. Unless in your life you have the privilege of not worrying about putting food on the table, then you are always running and stressed. We should start by being kinder to others, and restore the social contract that has been continuously bombarded for the last fifty years. We all have hearts somewhere, buried beneath the cruelties of the world. We must restore faith in mankind and march forward and build a better future for our children by repairing the damage that has been caused by changing times.

Author: James Borden

I'm a veteran of the U.S Army, with one deployment to Afghanistan. I will not pull punches in my articles and what you see is what you get.

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