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Lost Friendships Break Hearts and Nations




  • Yet as much as we don’t want our nation or our communities to be weak and poor, ultimately we were not created for power and prosperity. We were created for community and fellowship.
  • As Damon notes, when Americans lose the rich friendships one gains in the real world through shared lives, including shared hardship and shared suffering, we seek to fill the void through affinity (or factional) friendships we often start online.
  • Faction friendships are especially dangerous, I’d add, because they not only provide community, they also provide a sense of purpose, as destructive or as false as it may be. But faction friendships are also fragile. They depend on an extraordinary degree of agreement and conformity. I’ve experienced this myself. Many of us have. Friendships built up through years of engagement in politics and activism vanished in the blink of a tweet. “You’re not
  • And unless you have robust family relationships and deep friendships that aren’t so fragile and aren’t so contingent—unless you have a Leo or four or five in your life—then the sense of loss can be emotionally and spiritually catastrophic.
  • This is a prime reason why you can’t fact-check, plead, or argue a person out of a conspiracy, because you’re trying to fact-check, plead, and argue them out of their community.
  • Instead, we should remember that while we can have only the tiniest impact on a large number of people, we can have a large impact on a small number of people.
  • He went because friends do stuff together—and the greater the personal challenge, the more the word “together” matters.
  • “What if our strategy,” he said, “was the fruits of the spirit?” That’s it. That’s the focus. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
  • How do we repair our politics? The answer is almost impossibly complex, but here’s a powerful start. Friendship. Cultivate and sustain genuine friendship. Why? Because friendships don’t just enrich and restore our lives, they also enrich and restore our land.
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