The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

A Friend is worth Thanking!


November 9, 2022

Thanksgiving is a great time to thank friends. Real friends, not Facebook kind of friends. The type of friends that have lasted through trials, temptations, and disagreements. Nona Danreuther and I have been friends for more than 46 years. At first, we had a lot in common. Now we just know each other. She knows my shortcomings, my failures, how I think, and what I like. Mainly after so many years, I know I could call her anytime, and she would be there. And she tells me the truth, not some water down version, but the truth. We don't have to do a lot together, don't have to talk every day, nor for that matter, she has a lot of interests that I don't and vice-versa! But I treasure her friendship.

In a small town like Big Sandy, we could count most of the people we know as friends. Many inspire me, and I've never told them, but everyone needs a close friend. Acquaintances mean a fair-weather kind of friend-the ones we welcome to our Facebook page. A 2004 study in the American Sociological Review said the average number of trusted friends fell by a third in the past 20 years. It also noted that the number of people with no confidantes had doubled.

One of the reasons seniors struggle with loneliness is because their friends have died. I remember my Grandfather went on a trip to visit his friends in his hometown because his friends in our hometown had already died. He returned in three days, and all he said was, "They're all dead."

Not having a friend affects your health.

On the internet, there is a program called Master Class, where you can purchase lectures on various subjects. I loved what they said about friendships.

"The value of friendship: Four Benefits. Building and maintaining strong relationships with friends can promote your overall well-being. Consider the following benefits of friendship: 1. Acceptance: Being your true self around others is not always easy. However, in real friendships, you don't need to hide parts of your personality because a good friend accepts you as you are. They don't judge you for your gaps in knowledge or mistakes, allowing you to be your fullest self with them. 2. Growth: Real friends will grow side by side and reflect each other's maturation. Friends might experience conflicts, distinct life phases, and endure challenging times individually and collectively, and moving through those difficult moments enables growth. 3. Happiness: Great friends spend a lot of time together, passively chatting through texts or actively going on excursions. No matter how you spend time, these shared activities can boost happiness and lead to a more fulfilling life. 4. Self-love: Feeling loved by a friend increases your ability to love yourself, boosting your self-esteem. True friends will tell each other what they value about each other, helping friends see their positive qualities."

Four qualities of strong friendships in analyzing the strength of your friendship, consider the following qualities: 1. Appreciation: Friends who value one another will share gifts, exchange compliments, and foster a sense of mutual respect. 2. Ease: Being able to spend time together and understand one another is a strong marker of friendship. Friendships that take effort-because they revolve around inauthenticity or judgment-may not be true friendships. 3. Reliability: Having someone to call on and knowing they will lend a hand is crucial from a practical point of view but also from an emotional one. Unreliable or fair-weather friends may waste your time and impact your mental health. 4. Trustworthiness: Friends often confide in one another, so being able to trust your friends is an essential part of your relationship. Those who consistently break trust might not be close friends to keep around."

It's Thanksgiving month. Find a way to thank your friends!


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