Vitamin F: there are vitamins and then there are vitamins

This piece has been circulating on the Internet since at least 2011 (I came to realize this when googling for the original source). The source remains unknown, and the contents change a bit with the state of the world, but the underlying theme is timeless: friends are critical to our well-being. (Thanks to friend Marilyn for bringing this piece to my attention.)

Why do I have a variety of friends and family who are all so different in character? How is it possible that I can get along with them all? I think that each one helps to bring out a “different” part of me. With one of them I am polite. With another I joke … with one I can be a bit naughty. Another, I can sit down and talk about serious matters. With another I laugh a lot. I listen to one friend’s problems. Then I listen to another one’s advice for me.

My friends are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When completed, they form a treasure box. A treasure of friends! They are my friends who understand me, sometimes better than I understand myself! They’re friends who support me through good days and bad.
Real Age doctors tell us that friends are good for our health. Dr. Oz calls them Vitamin F (for Friends) and counts the benefits of friends as essential to our well-being. Research shows that people with strong social circles have less risk of depression and terminal strokes. If you enjoy Vitamin F constantly, you can be up to 30 years younger than your real age. (I only wish!) The warmth of friendship stops stress and even in your most intense moments, it decreases the chance of a cardiac arrest or stroke by 50%. I’m so happy that I have a stock of Vitamin F!

In summary, we should value our friends and keep in touch with them. We should try to see the funny side of things and laugh together and pray for each other in the tough moments.

Some of my friends are friends online. I know I am part of their circle because their names appear on my computer screen often and I feel blessed that they care as much for me as I care for them. Thank you for being one of my Vitamins. The most beautiful thing about friendship is that we can grow separately without growing apart.

In these days of COVID-19 and global uncertainty, Vitamin F is needed more than ever.

Keep safe and well.


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19 Responses to Vitamin F: there are vitamins and then there are vitamins

  1. Roy McCarthy says:

    It might be a general truism but in my experience the more people you are acquainted with the more worries and problems you accumulate. But yes, if you find a rare, true friend then treasure them.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Acquaintances aren’t the same thing. Some people thrive on having many acquaintances, but one or two true friends can provide all the vitamin F we really need for good health.

  2. Wise Hearted says:

    I am so grateful for the vit F. I have friends all over the world because God has taken us all over the world. With each more there was a certain amount of time that i had to wait for a friend from the Lord to show up and they always did. We moved from Ca. to northern Mn and it’s taken me a almost a year to get into a group. Due to covid no one was having a bible study, so finally about two months ago I started a, New To The Neighbor bible study., seven women showed up. I was honest with them and said, this is about me, I needed to do this for me and found out that is why them came, they needed it too and was just waiting for someone like me to step out. Great post.

  3. I love your heading (or is it a headline in WP? I never know!). Perfect advice! – Marty

  4. So very true! They can also break your heart when they get sick and die. A friend of mine is very unwell. Hoping for a full recovery but…Anyway, regardless of the heartache, which is part of life, the love is always worthwhile.

  5. heimdalco says:

    As I read this different friends came to mind … they are all so important to me in all the ways you mention. I’m president of a local non-profit. There are 64 members of our club & we are like family. Some of us have been members since the club began some 37 years ago. Sometimes we are like a dysfunctional family… LOL … but family still. I love those people. I have never missed each member more than during COVID-19. Seeing them on ZOOM when we started using that was heartwarming because I realized how much I’d missed their faces.

    Last Saturday we had our first ‘in person’ meeting. 99% of us have been fully vaccinated & we met at a recreation area pavilion outside. We took off our masks in that mostly safe atmosphere. All the needles & vaccines on the planet were worth being together again … hugging each other … seeing chins & lips & nostrils. I will never take our meetings for granted or the special Vitamin Fs our club members have become.

    Thank you for a very true & heartwarming post.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Oh my, heimdalco, what a lovely story to share. Your experience speaks to every aspect of how and why friendships and community spirit enrich our lives.

  6. bernieLynne says:

    Such an important “vitamin”. I am blessed to be surrounded with so many friends and need to take advantage of zoom or video calling more. I have a friendship that is 62 years old, many that are 45 years old and some that are only 30 years old. Like fine wine they just get better. I also have some new on line friendships through the world of blogging and I think that really enriches my life as well. Glad I found my way to your site just over a year ago. Bernie

  7. Inkplume says:

    Most of my friendships date back to high school. We still call ourselves “the gang” and make a point of getting together regularly, even if it has been on Zoom this year. I am so grateful they are in my life.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      One of the silver linings of lockdowns seems to have been that many groups of friends and family members have connected more frequently using Zoom than they’ve connected in the past. Whether because people had more time, realized how much they needed these people in their lives during these unprecedented times, and/or the ease of using Zoom to connect became known, this has been a very good thing. Let’s hope it continues as “normality” slowly/ eventually returns.

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