One of my dear friends was recently bragging about how many friends she has. Knowing her for many years, I know most of the people she could call “friend” – and while impressive, it certainly wasn’t the 953 she claimed. Was she leading a double life, I wondered?
Then it dawned on me that she was
babbling talking about her 953 friends on Facebook. Yep, she’s got lots of ‘friends’ on social media, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into having true friendships. This fact reminded of an Aesop fable I read as a child:
The Hare With Many Friends
A Hare was very popular with the other animals in the jungle who all claimed to be her friends.
One day, she heard the hounds approaching her and hoped to escape them by the aid of her Friends.
So, she went to the horse, and asked him to carry her away from the hounds on his back.
But he declined, stating that he had important work to do for his master. “He felt sure,” he said, “that all her other friends would come to her assistance.”
She then applied to the bull, and hoped that he would repel the hounds with his horns. The bull replied: “I am very sorry, but I have an appointment with a lady; but I feel sure that our friend the goat will do what you want.”
The goat, however, feared that his back might do her some harm if he took her upon it. The ram, he felt sure, was the proper friend to ask for help.
So she went to the ram and told him the case. The ram replied: “Another time, my dear friend. I do not like to interfere on the present occasion, as hounds have been known to eat sheep as well as hares.”
The Hare then applied, as a last hope, to the calf, who regretted that he was unable to help her, as he did not like to take the responsibility upon himself, as so many older persons than himself had declined the task.
By this time the hounds were quite near, and the Hare took to her heels and luckily escaped.
Moral of the story :
He that has many friends, has no friends.
Having true friends is vital to our mental health and happiness. Studies show that having meaningful relationships can even prolong life. Of course, some of us may be fortunate to have 953 real friends, but often, most of those people are acquaintances, some of whom we never actually see in person. When it comes to social media connections, the key word is connection — friends are those people we spend time with and speak to regularly and they’re the people with whom we share an intimate connection.