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Should We Befriend 0ur Own Type 0f People?

by Matthew
(U.S.)

The social status of my friends and family does matter, but not in regards to my friendship or even my familial ties: one cannot change one's family.

One of the keys of friendship is influenced, and very heavily, by social class and that key is "common interest." Friendship, not an amorous relationship or familial obligation, exists between people who enjoy each others company and seek it out.

The social status of my possible friends, therefore, does not matter in itself but it actually affects my choice of them indirectly. I am interested in poetry, science fiction, pipe-smoking, Folk and classical music, and a plethora of other leisure activities I find enjoyable. Uneducated people are less likely to share these interests and so I am more likely to find valued friends amongst educated people.

My family is not wealthy, I went to college largely because of academic scholarships, financial aid, and my own work; but many of my friends are affluent members of the middle and upper classes economically. I have made friends at work who were neither intelligent nor educated and they invariably found work, alcohol and women very interesting.

I hope, however, when I meet educated, intelligent people who happen to be poor and unpopular that I extend my friendship well to them. It is a sad truth that many of the uneducated people that I have met, although they may have hearts of gold and drink the milk of paradise, would never recognize the reference I just made to one of Coleridge's best known poems.

Even though education, greatness of spirit, and humanity should be sought after in everyone people invariably make friends with those who share their interests. Since we are free to choose our friends, why shouldn't we choose friends with whom we can empathize?

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