I’m probably dating myself, but do you remember that old song (written by Carol King and made famous by James Taylor). It was all about having someone you could count on at all times, to ‘be there’ when you needed them most. Someone who would listen and not pass judgement on your situation.
Some of us have heard the statistics: that the actual amount of true friends that the average american has, has declined from around 3 just 10 years ago, to just a hair over 2 today. Two friends! That’s it! It begs the question – What is going on in society and why is it going down so significantly!?! I have a few ideas. Please let me know if you agree and/or disagree, or better yet, expound on any concepts that I may have missed:
1. Everybody’s BUSY! We take less and less time to slow down and truly get to know someone, because we all have places to go and things to do….
2. The ‘roles’ we play. That the bulk of the people aren’t actually true friends, but rather acquaintances that we know through our various associations. i.e. co-workers, the guys on the bowling league, PTA, fellow parishioners, the rotary club, etc….
3. Isolation via technology. Why play real sports/games, when you can play virtual sports/games using nothing more than your fingers and thumbs!
4. Complacency via technology. referring specifically to the amount of hours/day of TV usage along with access to all those stations to tune in to. I’m reminded of the now old Springsteen song ’57 channels and nothing on’.
5. Convenience via technology. Between email, faxes, cell phones, text messaging, and yes – even “this”, has caused true heart to heart, 2-way communication, to be less and less frequent. This in turn leads to:
6. Degraded people skills. The lack of knowledge and understanding to truly communicate face to face with someone. The very things that our ‘top-5’ books in the Team system teaches! Knowing what I know now, I wish some middle or high school teachers would have forced me to read them. And finally:
7. Degraded morals/ethics. This of course is just my opinion, but it seems with each new generation, the gap of knowing and doing that which is right, because it is right, is widening. As foundational principles gives way to relativism, apathy increases. If it seems some people today care less, perhaps it’s because they could care less.
Do you have a Facebook account? How many ‘friends’ do you have? Careful how you answer. You see, friends aren’t a number dictated by a computer program. They are living, breathing, feeling, thinking beings – going through this concept called ‘the human experience’ just like you.
Thanks to Orrin Woodward and the Team leadership training system, Penny and I have decided to go out and make new friends. Face to face and heart to heart, and truly get to know what makes them tick. If in the process, we can help them solve a few problems in the 8 F’s of LIFE, through the same proven system of information that continues to help us, then that’s what we’ll do. Come to think of it, isn’t that what any good friend would do?
God bless, John