I wrote in the late 1980s that I thought, in the end, loneliness is the greatest burden that humans have on them. This has especially been true since the new trendy social movements split our families apart. They have done this through high taxation, thereby forcing everyone in the family to work, and programs such as Social Security, thereby encouraging folks to live alone.
Before Social Security when a mate died, the other one would have family members move in to help out with keeping the house up. Families stayed together. Or, they might open their house to borders. People were together; they socialized. Doctors were not nearly so greedy before the government starting paying the tab.
Today, we have millions of people set off to themselves in homes, apartments, and condos — all alone. Here they may stay for years with hardly any company or friends visiting them. Often their children use them for no more than babysitters — hardly interacting with them at all. The TV is their only companion; their destiny is to become depressed and sick.
Now, new studies from Duke and the University of Arizona have found that most Americans have only two close confidantes; and this is before they retire and become hermits. After retiring, that drops to one and soon none. The study also found that loneliness is on the rise, and it’s been rising since the 1960s — that’s about the time Medicare and Medicaid came into being and Social Security became available to everyone.
The Internet has helped people to stay in touch with one another around the world. As long as it remains cheap, this will benefit the Baby Boomers in particular, because most of them are computer literate and use their computers for socialization as well as business and entertainment.
But the Internet is no cure for the innate human need for one-on-one personal socialization. Another new study has found that humans need to be touched seven times a day to remain healthy and to receive the intimate relationship they need with other humans– and in a friendly cordial way. (This is not including sex.) This is touching in the sense of casual pats, rubs, caresses, and hugs– and these the researchers said should be done among friends, not only mates and family members.
My remedy for loneliness and the lack of human socialization is now and has been for years as follows: try to cultivate good, loyal friends– and keep them. Do as much as you can for them, and ask little in return.
However, early on in a relationship, make sure that your new friends understand that all life, love, business, and indeed all relationships are something for something. In other words, both parties must give; they must give as well as receive. If one remains a taker and refuses to give, then the relationship will not last — no matter how much the giver thinks of the taker. Eventually, the giver will get tired of being sucked upon, and will break out of the relationship. And even if one does not suck upon another as a parasite, then the giver will begin to think so, when after giving and giving and continuing to give, the other one does not respond in kind. After all, what type of person can continue taking and taking and taking — and never offering anything in return?
But keep this in mind too: finding good people in the first place is not easy. But when you do you must work to keep them. This reminds me of this quotation I once received about friends and the number of them that you’ll have in your lifetime:
“If you were able to meet all six-billion people on the planet in your lifetime, you would be ever so fortunate to find five who would remain loyal friends — by which I mean, they would be givers as well as takers. As far as takers only go, the rest of the six-billion would be lined up with their hands out — and would remain until the instant you stopped giving, and then would immediately abandon you for a softer sucker.”
Therefore, be judicious and discreet when searching for new friends — then when you make your decision that you’ve found one, start a campaign to make that person your life-long friend. You’ll find out quickly whether or not you’ve made a good decision. For takers show their greedy little paws right speedily.
Search for birds with similar feathers as yours — their beliefs are much more apt to be as yours are. This will enable you to lay a good foundation with the result that that friendship can be a long-lasting one. Remember too that none of us is perfect, so when you have many, many things in common, one minor difference ought not tear a relationship apart.
Keep in mind, however, the Courier Paul’s relationship axiom: “Bad company corrupts good character.” So stay clear of those who either hate or dishonor what you love and honor. You yourself cannot overcome satanic hatred; only Christ can do that.