FRIENDSHIP: MODEL FOR A NEW CITIZENSHIP
Every day, we meet many people from various backgrounds, cultural and social standings who have customs and values different from ours and who might view life differently from the way we view it. These people may be apathetic, sentimental, cerebral, passionate or serene. Out of all these people, some are friends, others acquaintances, and the rest, maybe we could say, are put in the “I’m indifferent” category. Generally when people refer to someone as their friend, they almost always imply something that does not mean friendship. This could be because, they have a wrong concept of friendship or they haven’t really thought about it.
When it comes to making friends, people have different ideas of what friendship is or is supposed to be. But when you say “She is my friend!”-Pause-, do you know what you’re saying? Do you even mean it?
Over the last forty years the number of friends that grown men in the United States say that they have has dwindled from an average of between five and ten all the way down to one. They also report feeling a deep loss. When looking at the data on a macro-level, multiple studies report a declining sense of friendship and community in neighborhoods, cities, the nation, and the international order, again with an accompanying sense of loss.
This year’s UNIV encourages participants to investigate the all-important yet much neglected topic of friendship. While many disciplines and studies lament a lack of friendship on a personal and social level, few scholars are willing to devote the time and study necessary to develop positive proposals to address the reality. And so, in UNIV 2015, we are going to address what is perhaps one of the biggest gaps of our time.