There is abundant scientific evidence that a healthy human childhood, both physical as well as psychological, leads to better physical health in adult life, as well as being a balanced and well adjusted individual. One factor that contributes to these benefits is the feeling of mateship that connects two or more people, without any erotic desire, with the bond of friendship. Between true friends, there are feelings of respect, devotion and interest of the wellbeing for one another.
Unfortunately, the current tsunami of social engineering sweeping the country at present, wants now to distort friendship – this sacred, innocent and beneficial emotional bond of our children and youth, starting at the classroom.
We must be grateful to Jackie Sinnerton (Daily Telegraph, May 12, 2018), who informed us that certain schools are discouraging students from having best friends; the reason being to protect them from being hurt when they break up! A top Australian psychologist called the policy “dumb and destructive”, adding that “the greatest predictor of wellbeing in life is not being good looking, or successful or rich, it is having a small group of quality friends”. Dr Michael Carr-Gregg called the idea nonsense, and stated that boys who spent more time with friends as children, had better physical health parameters by the time they hit their 30s.
It is well recognized that loneliness (the lone-wolf syndrome), is a great misfortune to befall a child, particularly an adolescent, and is frequently a preamble to depression or anti-social behavior. On the other hand, friendship is a “divine” experience, filling the person with confidence, optimism, and what is most important for the young, enthusiasm. At the same time, sincere and true friendships established during childhood and adolescence continue into adult life nearly always, and as described above, are not only a source of health of body and soul, they also contribute greatly to the happiness of the person.
The miracle called friendship was first described by the ancient Greek philosophers. According to Plato, Friendship is the bond among people pursuing the realization of what is good. So, real friends are those who in common want what is good and excellent. On the other hand, Aristotle defines friendship as the bond affected between persons in the pursuit of virtue. Whereas the ancient world cultivated friendship as a valuable feeling and experience, they always admired the friendship displayed by the Greek people when they encountered them.
But long before the philosophers spoke about friendship, we find in the Old Testament a perfect description of it: “a faithful friend is a strong shelter, and he who finds one finds a treasure” (Sirach 6:14). However, the nucleus of the bond between people is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ himself, who established friendship with His blood. Jesus felt the need of a friend, and that was Lazarus, and cried for his death. But not only that. He became the friend of all sinners: “You are My friends” (John 15:14), and again, “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid” (Luke 12:4).
We, as Christians, should not allow those who have no respect for the moral principle of Friendship to poison the minds of our children and youth, by destroying in their hearts the most sacred bond among people, replacing it by a meaningless hypothesis.