Guest Op-Ed: Want a friend? Be a friend

By Dr. Glenn Mollette 

You may have heard this before. I went out to find a friend and none were to be found. I went out to be a friend and found them all around. 

Where do you find friends?

Your best friends may be your family. You may be close to siblings, cousins, and others related to you. Growing up, I was blessed to be around a lot of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, siblings, and parents. I didn’t have to think much about searching for friends because so many relatives were always around. This is not always the case. Many people have small families or maybe even no family. Some families go in different directions, live in different places, or move on with different interests and lives. 

We often find friends in school. Some of the people we shared elementary and high school with become lifelong connections. Even if we don’t see each other much, we still have those great past times that help us reconnect quickly. 

We connect with people at our places of employment. Some of the people you spend hours with every day become lifelong friends. 

Houses of faith are often good places to make new friends. People get to know each other in Bible study classes and other small group religious settings. The people you share your faith with will often become like brothers and sisters. 

The local gym is often a place where people socialize. If you become a routine attender of an exercise class you will eventually develop some friends. 

The Internet and social media have become the world’s biggest connection place. To many people this is their only connection. All their “friends” are on Facebook or Instagram. Many people have thousands of social media friends. Too often the loneliest people on the planet are those who are only connected by a keypad. 

There are many more places where you can connect. Many communities have baking, quilting, hunting, sports clubs, and more. Civic groups from Kiwanis, Rotary, and Ruritan groups will often meet weekly and do community projects. 

 You might make some friends volunteering at the hospital or nursing home. There will be people in most of these places who will be glad to make a new friend.  Talk to your local nursing home about your interest and you may be surprised how quickly your talents are utilized. You will also find some people who will be glad to make a new friend. Keep in mind this is not always easy as you will be trying to make friends with many who feel alone and forgotten. 

You can always become active in the local political circles. This all depends on your level of desperation and if you don’t mind being shunned by whichever party you don’t declare affiliation. 

Don’t try to have too many friends. The Bible says a person of many companions may soon come to ruin. However, you need a few friends and hopefully you will have some good ones. 

Glenn Mollette is the publisher of Newburgh Press, Liberty Torch, and various other publishing imprints; a national columnist –  American Issues and Common Sense opinions, analysis, stories, and features appear each week in over 500 newspapers, websites and blogs across the United States.

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