So, are you counting on it?  You’re probably asking “counting on what?”  You know, counting on receiving monthly payments from Social Security when you reach that ever elusive “qualified retirement age.”  If you listen to the politicians or the facts, which sounds a bit like an oxymoron, there won’t be enough money in the Social Security coffers to fund the retirement needs of the coming baby boomer generation much less the generations beyond.  The unfortunate result of this will lead to the retirement age continuing to get extended, taxes going up and the younger generation having to “foot the bill” for our inabilities to get out in front of this problem years ago.  It seems by all measures the first lesson to be learned here is that we should not “count on” or look to an institution of any kind to provide for our retirement needs.  In the end the onus is on us to be diligent (and diversified) so as to plan accordingly for our sunset years.  So, all of this has me wondering if where it might lead if we simply redefined the term, “social security.”

I’m curious, is there anything that we might find in the “social” realm that could give us a sense of security?  Is there anything here that we can “count on?”  Well, I would propose that the best “social security” we can possibly strive for is to be found in “authentic friendships.”  Now I know there are those that would argue against this.  Perhaps you, like many, have experienced being let down by a “true” friend.  Given the reality that we are human beings, this sort of thing can indeed happen though I don’t believe that we should consider it a foregone characteristic of authentic friendship.  Plausible?… Yes.  Possible?…Sure.  Predictable?… Not so fast.  Perhaps then, the operative word here is “authentic.”

Let’s consider for a moment the hallmarks of an “authentic friendship.”  Where else could we possibly find a love that would be so great that would cause one to “lay down his life for his friends?”  Or where might we find a friend who would “stick closer than a brother?”  Or where else can we at last find the security and safety of being fully ourselves?  Authentic friendship!  Just like that other Social Security, this too can be elusive and really hard to find.  Considering this leads me to an even greater reality.  That is, in the end or perhaps the beginning depending on your perspective of “the end”, there is only one authentic friendship that would evidence such a love for the world that would cause the One to give up his Son so that we could have the best security of all…one that is eternal.  Come to think of it, this brings a whole new meaning (and spellingJ) to the phrase, the “Sonset” years.  Are you planning accordingly?  If so, you can count on it!!! Peace.