By Kathy Monnin
Friends play a significant role in promoting our overall health, such as boosting our happiness and reducing our stress. Friends increase our sense of belonging and purpose and keep us mentally and physically strong by helping us make better lifestyle choices and lowering our likelihood of depression. Friends help us through traumatic times, especially in times of divorce, loss of a job or the death of a loved one. In fact, when you are in a crisis you will discover who your true friends are, for in the words of Walter Winchell, “a friend is one who walks in when others walk out.”
Having positive friends can lower our blood pressure, improve our attitude, and help us rebound from health issues or disease more quickly. Of course, the reverse is possible if we do not choose our friends wisely. True friends know the real us and offer their friendship anyway, they lift us up when no one else even noticed we were down. Real friends are the ones who make our problems disappear, instead of adding to them or abandon us.
True friends are like diamonds, they are real and rare, but to attract such friends, we must be that sort of friend as well. Developing and maintaining good friendships takes effort. We cannot neglect nurturing our existing relationships, but we should always be open to making new friends throughout our lives, primarily because our responsibilities and priorities change. In the early years we are raising families and trying to advance our careers, later we are caring for our aging parents, preparing for, or entering our retirement. At each stage of our life, we encounter changes that may cause some of our friends to grow apart, while we form friendships with others with mutual interests and/or similar lifestyles.
It is never too late to develop new friendships. Friendships make life more enjoyable, and life is better when shared with friends. But while it’s great to have a large and diverse group of friends, some are only acquaintances, such as classmates, neighbors, or coworkers. True friends experience a stronger bond between one another, an on-going relationship, a mutual affection, a genuine concern which goes deeper than an acquaintance. Quantity means little next to the quality of one solid and authentic friend, whom you can trust completely.
A true friend is someone who you can connect with no matter what the distance. Their friendship multiplies our happiness by doubling our joys and diminishes our suffering by dividing our sorrows. Good friends will show us how to forgive, laugh, and befriend others. We learn more about ourselves and the importance of having someone who understands us. A friend keeps us from feeling as though we are alone or at odds with the world. We should take time to maintain true friendships and to determine whether we are giving them our best in return.
As I write this column, I must mention that occasionally friendships are severed, either amicably or otherwise. It’s always difficult but friendships that are negative or do not add value to your life should be allowed to fade. Life changes as do many valued friendships along the way. However, maintaining an unhealthy friendship is just a bad use of time and energy.
Years ago, a person, who I thought more like a sister than a friend, devastated me by allowing a falsehood to persist. I thought sure she would defend me for I felt she knew it was untrue and the pain it caused me. As I write this column, I realize she was never my friend. We were more like competitors than friends, each a tad jealous of the other. The incident was insurmountable. I should have seen it much earlier, however now, (better late than never) I can finally put the hurt behind me, for I can’t lose a friend I never had.
I should also mention that many romantic relationships start out as friendships. If a person is a poor friend, how could they ever be a good marriage partner? Personally, I cannot imagine a marriage without the strong bonds of friendship, which encompasses trust, empathy, kindness, selflessness, supportiveness, love, honesty, understanding, and open communication. Intimacy can take many forms however physical intimacy may not always be possible, but the union remains strong if there is the emotional intimacy between hearts, intellectual intimacy between minds and spiritual intimacy between souls.
The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have one. ~Irish Proverb
“A true friend sees the first tear, catches the second, and stops the third.” ~Unknown
“Friends are the siblings God never gave us.” ~Mencius
Friday, Aug. 5-7, State Route 127 Yard Sale continues.
Friday, Aug. 5, the Versailles Alumni Association Softball Tournament will be held on the K of C diamonds, located at 8440 State Route 47 begins at 6 p.m. and continues through Sunday.
Monday, Aug. 8, Memory Lane (Senior Citizen) Dance held at the Greenville VFW from 1-3:30 p.m. Open to the public, with music by Tom Everhart. Admission is $5 at the door.
Tuesday, Aug. 9, Breakfast at the Wooden Spoon from 9–10:15 a.m. for anyone that wants to join in with my widowed women and men friends. (Singles are welcome too).
Thursday, Aug. 11, Card Night downstairs in the Versailles Vets Club Bunker beginning at 7 p.m. Open to the Public.
Saturday, Aug. 13, Darke County Single’s Dance with “Hearts of Fire” performing at the Greenville VFW, on Ohio Street. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the dance runs from 8–11 p.m., $7 cover charge.
Tuesday, Aug. 16, Bingo at the Versailles Healthcare Center from 6:30–7:30 p.m. Refreshments and prizes, including a chance to win a $25 gift card.
Happy birthday wishes Theresa Wright Howerton, Carrie Stachler-Robbins, Barb Condon, Kim Ward, Lynne Schlater, Dwight Keihl, Joyce Huber, Guy DeMange, Janet Keyser, Diane Barga, Ronda Stammen, Frank May, Michelle Stoltz, and those I missed. Happy anniversary wishes to Kelsi and Tim Lewis (3), Amanda and Mitch Arnett (13), Marti and Todd Phelan (16), Missy and Todd Voisard (31), Sharon and Scott Pepiot (39), Vicki and Ron Schulze (43), Connie and Jeff Stammen (44), Jann and Mike Unger (47), Rebecca and Richard Shumaker (52), Aunt Lois and Uncle Bill Magoto (65), Joyce and Bill Luthman (66), and Shirley and Don Slyder (69).
Please extend your sympathy to the family and friends of Lois Ann Baker (90), and all those who have passed, especially those whose anniversary of their passing nears. Please give your prayers of comfort and healing for the sick and suffering, for those who struggle, the caregivers and those who mourn the loss of their loved ones.
As an act of kindness be the friend you wish others to be to you. Realize some people may be unfaithful friends or even enemies but be kind anyway. Know that some so called friends may betray your kindness but forgive them and move on. People often think kindness has ulterior motives and even if they never realize differently be kind anyway. Being kind isn’t always easy or appreciated by others, but it is really about your character and not theirs.