Friendship

The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond
Narrated by: Tiffany Morgan
Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The bonds of friendship are universal and elemental. In Friendship, journalist Lydia Denworth visits the front lines of the science of friendship in search of its biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations. Finding it to be as old as life on the African savannas, she also discovers that friendship is reflected in our brain waves, detectable in our genomes, and capable of strengthening our cardiovascular and immune systems. Its opposite, loneliness, can kill. As a result, social connection is finally being recognized as critical to our physical and emotional well-being.

With warmth and compassion, Denworth weaves together past and present, field biology and cutting-edge neuroscience, to show how our bodies and minds are designed to make friends, the process by which social bonds develop, and how a drive for friendship underpins human (and nonhuman) society. With its refreshingly optimistic vision of the evolution of human nature, this book puts friendship at the center of our lives.

©2020 Lydia Denworth (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

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The answer to most of our ills & pain

I first learned of Lydia's book from a WSJ article called the 'Surprising Science of Friendship', and immediately bought the book. I absolutely loved this listen. I haven't been as emotionally moved in a book since, maybe, "Where the Red Fern Grows" as a child. I didn't weep to Friendship as more of walking around with misty-eyes, thinking of all the friends I've had in my life--and Lydia clearly explains why those friendships have stuck--and why they mean as much as they do.

One small personal anecdote that might summarize her book. I am a retired Soldier. Spent nearly 27 years in uniform, but it ended by getting 'passed over' for promotion. It hurt like hell. I was so angry, it was the first time I hadn't been 'picked' for the starting team. As my anger seethed, 2 weeks turned to 3, then 4--and I was spitting mad. "This dirt bag got promoted over me..." Think of all the victimhood tripe one can say to himself--that was me.

One day it occurred to me that I had spent my entire adult life in this vocation, and maybe, just maybe, I didn't want to hate it for the rest of my life. So I begrudgingly started a gratitude list:
o finished undergrad, o completed grad school, o met me wife o own a lovely home o school paid for o experienced combat o
blah blah blah

Until I thought of all the deep, meaningful relationships I had built over my career. My eyes immediately filled. Proverbial mic-drop. I was ok. I was wealthy beyond measure with deep, meaningful relationships. I need both hands and feet, plus another hand or two to count the number of people I can call for anything.

So, there have been times in my life when I felt (awkwardly) that maybe I made too much of my friendships. Was I weird?

Turns out no. Maybe I'm a bit on the right end of the bell-curve (which Lydia describes-we are genetically pre-disposed to our friendship style) but the reason is because MY LIFE DEPENDS UPON THEM.

Please read it. Then send it (Audible lets us give a freebie away to non-audible users) to your old high school/college friends, your military friends, your current friends. Remind them you love them, and to listen to this book.

This book inspired me to reach out to a number of my old buddies--and I am in the middle of 2-3 weeks of reminiscing, catching up, laughing at old memories, but more importantly--feeling that wonderful connection that is only with our great friends. We are making plans to reunite at an old summer camp many of us worked at this year. I'm as giddy with anticipation as I was to finally graduate high school.

If I were still in the Army, I would assign it to my mandatory reading list--and then I would lead a discussion about how blessed we are as Soldiers to be in an organization perfectly designed for making long lasting, deep friendships.

In fact, Lydia's efforts inspired an idea about the military/1st Responder's current struggle with suicide. Instead of playing Spades in our boxer shorts on a long deployment, I suspect everyone returns to their digital devices these days. We used to make the best of worst times by playing cards -- and the subsequent shit-talking, banter, laughing, and sharing were actually the best times of military service--just not what we think about as important. It is more than important. Our lives and our well-being is dependent upon it.

Lydia--so well done. So, so, so well done. Thank you.
bsn

1 person found this helpful