Lately, browsing social media has started taking more than an hour per day basis. Generally, I’m not one to spend so much time on social media. As I wrote this in my diary, I felt a tinge of isolation. I checked my Quora account and saw my followers list. I even went through my Facebook friends list and Instagram friends list.
However, there is not one person I freely talk to on a daily basis. Some of my innermost feelings and desires are known only to me.
To deal with this rising feeling of loneliness, I opened the novel, “Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban”
“Harry Potter” is about a boy wizard named Harry Potter who goes on to defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort because he killed Harry’s parents. As he goes to study at a school called Hogwarts, he makes a small bunch of friends which gradually grow into multiple friends. But, his one and only best friend is Ronald Bilius Weasley. The Golden Trio consists of Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Jean Granger.
In the novel “Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban”, a mass murderer (accused of a crime he didn’t commit, but later proven innocent thanks to the Golden Trio) is after somebody and everyone thinks he is after Harry. At one point, the accused murderer injures Ron’s leg badly and corners the Trio. Just when he advances further towards them, Ron stands up on his broken leg and positions himself between Harry and the accused murderer and does not hesitate to put himself in harm’s way to protect his best friend which highlights his bravery and loyalty.
The conversation goes thus.
Ron, however, spoke to Black.
“If you want to kill Harry, you’ll have to kill us too!” he said fiercely, though the effort of standing upright was draining him of still more color, and he swayed slightly as he spoke.
“Lie down,” [Sirius] said quietly to Ron. “You will damage that leg even more.”
“Did you hear me?” Ron said weakly, though he was clinging painfully to Harry to stay upright. “You’ll have to kill all three of us!”
– J.K. Rowling.
Throughout the series, in all the seven novels, Ron Weasley is constantly by Harry Potter, helping him out and saving the day. Ron even fights in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Battle at the Astronomy Tower, and finally, the Battle of Hogwarts. He takes Harry into his house, and with his family members, provide a loving home for the otherwise orphan who was abused by his only relative, the Durseley’s.
It is Ron who stands by Harry all the time. Of course, the two have fought, but they reconcile and stand by each other. This shows that Ron was Harry’s best friend by word and deed.
Had Harry been on social media, how many of his virtual friends would have been there to save the day? I say no.
I read “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”, where Samwise Gamgee, just like Ronald Weasley to Harry Potter, is there to help Frodo Baggins at times of need.
In “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”, Frodo Baggins is supposed to take the Ring to and destroy it at Mount Doom. The Dark Lord Sauron seeks that ring to recover and use it to conquer Middle-earth. The ring works like a Horcrux, by draining out your energy, making you feel negative emotions such as anger and most of all, greed for the ring, which ends in an infinite loop. So, it is very imperative to carry the ring all the way without desiring that ring.
At one point, Frodo breaks off from his companions and decides to travel alone, given that it would be hard to locate everybody. Everyone divides into a pair of two or three and takes a different path. But, Samwise Gamgee holds back and decides to go after Frodo, not for the ring but to help him.
Frodo forbids him and starts rowing away from the shore, so Sam jumps into the water knowing that he cannot swim, but desperately wanting to help Frodo. He almost drowns in the attempt. Seeing Sam’s dedication and loyalty, Frodo takes Sam with him. These are Sam’s exact words.
“I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise. And I don’t mean to. I don’t mean to.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien
Sam accompanies Frodo throughout the journey, and even resists that fiery temptation to own the ring (the ring is that powerful!). When Gollum comes, Sam warns Frodo not to trust Gollum, but Frodo starts trusting Gollum, and at one point, Frodo even banishes Sam from the conquest asking him to return to the Shire.
Despite the humiliation, Sam stays back and keeps an eye on Frodo and Gollum, thus retrieving the ring, saving Frodo’s life and exposing Gollum. Frodo would have been dead, and the wicked and greedy Gollum would’ve got that ring had Sam decided to abandon the mission halfway.
Sam has proven his loyalty time and again throughout the Trilogy. Would Frodo’s virtual friends, if he had any, be there to protect him and save the day? I say no.
The point I’m trying to make here is that family and real friends matter. In times of crisis, it is your family that will be there to help you out and your truest friends who will be there to keep you out of trouble. If you’re sick, it is your family and true friends who will be concerned about you and make rounds to help you out, not your virtual friends.
I am glad to be blessed with a loving family that cares for me and is there for me always. Should anything happen to me, I know that my family will be with me.
In life, every one of us wants a friend with whom we discuss mundane things everyday, study or work together, maybe eat together and go out on trips together.
We need that one Ron who will be ready to fight battles for us. We subconsciously yearn for that one Sam who constantly keeps a watch for us and protects us.
No wonder our generation feels so lonely. It is because, unlike the previous generations, we don’t make real friends. Our only ‘friends’ are virtual, to be found on social media.
I end this post with one small request. It is about taking care of the ones who truly love you and care for you. Do not worry about people you like, worry about the people who like you. Family and true friends are forever.