Who are those people in the picture above? That’s a picture of the 1978 Ledford Senior High School graduating Class. We just had our 45th class reunion. Some things have changed, but some things are still the same. One of the unchanging things is the friendships forged over time.
The Class of ‘78 gathered at the Colonial Country Club in Thomasville, NC (Furniture City). I saw many familiar faces and a few faces I recognized after a quick glance at a name tag. Some of our friends are no longer with us but will always be remembered. It’s funny how the mind works. A name triggers the image of a younger person, but quickly, the mind focuses on distinguishing facial characteristics, and memories emerge. What follows is a feeling of happiness that produces laughter and joy. For in a moment, we are carried away to another place and time. Friendship is a beautiful thing, and we all need friends.
A Harvard report (pre-pandemic) suggests that 36% of all Americans—including 61% of young adults and 51% of mothers with young children—feel “serious loneliness.” Not surprisingly, loneliness has increased substantially since the global pandemic. A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) points out that more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated.
Now, loneliness may seem like a harmless emotion, but it has been linked to an increased risk of physical and mental health problems, including heart disease, dementia, depression, anxiety, type 2 diabetes, addiction, and suicidal ideation. Friendship is a non-pharmaceutical solution to loneliness.
In Proverbs 17:17, the Bible says, “A friend loves at all times,” and Jesus himself was referred to as “a Friend of Sinners.” The countless stories depicting Jesus as a loving friend who cares, comforts, consoles, and confronts -elevate the virtues of friendship and the need for us to have friends and be friends. More than ever, friendship is needed in our world today!
I love my friends, and they love me, and we make our way down the road of life together. Where would I be without my friends? Remember: The best time to make friends is before you need them.
Doing Good at Work educates, equips, and empowers individuals, businesses, organizations, and non-profit leaders to build people, businesses, and communities. We encourage and equip people to build friendships in the workplace. Click HERE to learn more and get started.
Dr. Boomer Brown, Ph.D., is the CEO of Doing Good at Work. Doing Good at Work is a 501(c) 3 organization that functions like a business. We desire to “Make People Better” because we know better people make better businesses and better businesses make a better world. Learn more: https://doinggoodatwork.com/