• "Here in this world there are thousands of newspapers and magazines reporting the stale, repetitious happenings of this limited space. So for reporting the news of the unlimited spiritual realm, concerning the eternal, ever-fresh Supreme Personality of Godhead, we could publish a newspaper at every second, what to speak of daily."
    - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Bala Gopala's Mrdanga : An insignificant attempt (by an insignificant entity) to render service to this instruction.


Statistics: Americans' circle of close friends shrinking

Categories: News

Mon Jun 26, 2006 08:48 AM ET

By Amanda Beck

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans are more socially isolated than they were 20 years ago, separated by work, commuting and the single life, researchers reported on Friday.

Nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they had "zero" close friends with whom to discuss personal matters. More than 50 percent named two or fewer confidants, most often immediate family members, the researchers said.

"This is a big social change, and it indicates something that's not good for our society," said Duke University Professor Lynn Smith-Lovin, lead author on the study to be published in the American Sociological Review.

Smith-Lovin's group used data from a national survey of 1,500 American adults that has been ongoing since 1972.

She said it indicated people had a surprising drop in the number of close friends since 1985. At that time, Americans most commonly said they had three close friends whom they had known for a long time, saw often, and with whom they shared a number of interests.

They were almost as likely to name four or five friends, and the relationships often sprang from their neighborhoods or communities.

Ties to a close network of friends create a social safety net that is good for society, and for the individual. Research has linked social support and civic participation to a longer life, Smith-Lovin said.

People were not asked why they had fewer intimate ties, but Smith-Lovin said that part of the cause could be that Americans are working more, marrying later, having fewer children, and commuting longer distances.

The data also show the social isolation trend mirrors other class divides: Non-whites and people with less education tend to have smaller social networks than white Americans and the highly educated.

That means that in daily life, personal emergencies and national disasters like Hurricane Katrina, those with the fewest resources also have the fewest personal friends to call for advice and assistance.

"It's one thing to know someone and exchange e-mails with them. It's another thing to say, 'Will you give me a ride out of town with all of my possessions and pets? And can I stay with you for a couple or three months?" Smith-Lovin said.

"Worrying about social isolation is not a matter of nostalgia for a warm and cuddly past. Real things are strongly connected with that," added Harvard University Public Policy Professor Robert Putnam, author of "Bowling Alone," a book on the decline of American community.

He suggested flexible work schedules would allow Americans to tend both personal and professional lives.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.


Nimai's Irresistable Prediction

Categories: Quotes

"Those who run from me today will chant my glories and qualities tomorrow."

- Nimai Pandit - Sri Caitanya Bhagavat Adi 11.49


Srimad-Bhagavatam Is For Paramahamsas

Categories: Quotes

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura:

"A swanlike person can identify another swanlike brother who posseses all the appropriate symptoms, whether he is from the same country or not. Although their dress, language, worship, Diety, and behavior may appear different, they should freely address each other as brother. These type of people are called paramahamsas and Srimad-Bhagavatam is the scripture that is meant for such paramahamsas."


Bala Gopala's Daily Darsan

Categories: Bala Gopala's Darsan

mālā-kāraḥ kṛpā-kāraḥ
rāmo nīlāmbaro devo
halī durdama-mardanaḥ

He is expert at making flower garlands (mālā-kāra), merciful (kṛpā-kāra), decorated with a voice like the cuckoos' singing (kokila-svara-bhūṣaṇa), Lord Balarāma (rāma), dressed in blue garments (nīlāmbara), the Supreme Personality of Godhead (deva), the holder of the plow (halī), and the crusher of the invincible (durdama-mardana).

- Sri Gopala-sahasra-nama - Text 10


A Fruitful Tree Bows Down

Srila Prabhupada once used the tree as a metaphor, comparing it to a humble and proud human being. During the lecture he was posturing as he spoke, in order to emphasize his point. He said that a tree laden with fruit bends forward like a humble human, whereas a tree devoid of fruits, flowers and leaves tends to stand erect like a proud person.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare