Tennessee Williams said, “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” Apparently, he was limiting the scope of friendship …
I really, really like the idea presented in this report in the BBC today, but keep getting caught up in the language of the article.
Having a good network of friends and neighbours boosts survival chances by 50%, US researchers believe.
Having friends … real friends, not Farmville neighbors … is a very good thing. Last I checked, though, everyone on the planet has exactly a 100% chance of not getting out of here alive, so I’m wondering what the heck those researchers actually believe.
In their study, which looked at over 300,000 people from four continents over a period of seven years, those with the strongest social networks fared best in terms of health outcomes and lifespan. They were nearly twice (1.5 times) as likely to be alive at any given age than those who were lonely.
The article seems to indicate that folks with friends are better off, that as a species we’re designed to benefit from company and that isolation isn’t healthy, and, sure, I buy all that.
Professor Sally Macintyre, director of the Medical Research Council’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, said: “Policymakers and health care staff should note this important finding, and we need to build on it to find out how we can use social relationships to reduce the risk of death.”
Reduce the risk of death … hm …
Since I have the best friends in the whole world, this ‘news’ has me phoning up all my pals to announce that we’re not friends to the end … we’re immortal!