22nd Ask Josh – Getting Friends

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 10:36 pm

sarah said…

Josh, how do I get friends?


Good question.  This all depends on your operational definition of friends.  My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. M, once asked us all if we had any friends.  We all raised our hands and she said, or rather yelled, “you’re wrong! None of you have any friends!  All you have are acquaintances! A friend is someone who would die for you!”

She really yelled when she said it.  I don’t know why she told us that.  But it stuck with me.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”

I have thought on both of these sayings for some time. Having multiple friends in the context that perhaps Mrs. M and Mr. Franklin might be something that none of us are really able to handle.  I mean, I love being gregarious, but I have to agree with what Plautus said:

“No guest is so welcome in a friend’s house that he will not become a nuisance after three days.”

Anyway, you only have so much time for friends.  And there’s no trick to it.  If there is one then I don’t know it.  Brutal honesty comes to mind as a possible trick.  

Dealing with not being as popular as we might like to be is a problem the majority of us face, and maybe even those whom we consider popular wouldn’t mind trading all the popularity of their own in exchange for just a little more.  

A tragic story that I will not go into detail about ended with a boy being picked on by his peers then later ending his life.  He was found with a note pinned to his shirt saying, “Dear Mom and Dad, I know you loved me very much.  But a guy just can’t live without friends.”

Honestly, I never felt like I really had close friends in high school.  And it wasn’t something I spent time stewing over.  I had fun teammates, sharp  classmates, wonderful church buddies, great colleagues and associates.  I was surrounded with people I loved all the time.  Yet I always thought my little brother Andy was about the only friend I had through it all.

So, needless to say, I don’t do the whole popular thing.  And I can’t tell you how to get one person to be your friend in the sense of the word that has been shown above (I know, this post is really starting to sound like a lame cop-out even as I write it).

I guess the best thing for me to quote from you will be just towards the back of the Bible.  How is it that Jesus was able to have so many friends?  John’s answer:

“We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Ella Wilcox Wheeler said, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.”

In any case, I would rather be respected than liked.

I’m closing with this poem by Edgar A. Guest and then I am going to bed.  

Have a nice day.

Be a friend. You don’t need money; 
Just a disposition sunny; 
Just the wish to help another 
Get along some way or other; 
Just a kindly hand extended 
Out to one who’s unbefriended; 
Just the will to give or lend, 
This will make you someone’s friend.  

Be a friend. You don’t need glory. 
Friendship is a simple story. 
Pass by trifling errors blindly,
Gaze on honest effort kindly, 
Cheer the youth who’s bravely trying, 
Pity him who’s sadly sighing; 
Just a little labor spend 
On the duties of a friend. 

Be a friend. The pay is bigger 
(Though not written by a figure) 
Than is earned by people clever 
In what’s merely self-endeavor. 
You’ll have friends instead of neighbors 
For the profits of your labors; 
You’ll be richer in the end 
Than a prince, if you’re a friend.

  1. josh and i have talked about this topic a lot. and i am a person that loves to have lots of friends, but the current situations in my life are such that I don’t feel that i have many. hence, why josh and i have talked about this. in some ways i agree with what josh might be trying to say. to have friends you need to be a friend, and i feel that you shouldn’t expect much out of your friends in return. if you do, then you will only feel lonely. i feel that first you need to be a friend to yourself, and then a friend to all around. if you’re a friend to those around you, then you will feel loved because you give love. however, the only perfect friend is our Saviour, so don’t be disheartened when you are alone without friends (i need to take my own advice)because you always have a friend. josh…..question for you…..can you expound on the “increase our faith” doctrine found in the New Testament please?

  2. Sounds like your teacher was a little bitter on the friends topic.

  3. Josh, who should I vote for in the upcoming election and why?

  4. Sometimes your best friends can be your family, especially when all the kids go back to school and leave us in Klamath…alone. Me, Kelda, and Keith are holding this ward together.Why aren’t LDS men interested in Independent women?There is a question that could go a thousand different ways.

  5. In this month’s Ensign, Elder Eric B. Shumway writes, “Even when they [youth] know these things [the fundamental doctrine] about marriage and family, many seem to slip through adolescence, teen years, and early adulthood naive and clueless about what a successful marriage entails. They are mature physically to be sure, full of the chemistry of desire, but often are not prepared psychologically, emotionally, or spiritually for the realities of marriage” (“Preparing Yourself For Marriage.” Ensign, Oct 2008. p55).Supposing that this “relationship immaturity” is a greater problem for our generation than our parents’ generation or other previous generations, what do you believe are some of the contributing factors to our generation’s malaise of relationship skills?Perhaps you may address my question along with the “interested in Independent [with a capital ‘i’] women” question posted here.

  6. Oh Josh Josh,Please help me! How much is shattered china worth? And who would want shattered china? And so then, how much is a shattered heart worth? And who would want a shattered heart?

  7. I really enjoy reading your blog!I tagged you on my blog.More info here:http://alexispomeroy.blogspot.comSorry…but I had to.

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