Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The meaning of friendship

People, folks, and persons unknown all have different definitions of the meaning of friendship.

"Value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
* The tendency to desire what is best for the other
* Sympathy and empathy
* Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart
* Mutual understanding and compassion
* Trust in one another (able to express feelings - including in relation to the other's actions - without the fear of being judged); able to go to each other for emotional support
* Positive reciprocity - a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties

You have to love when people try to define emotions. By their nature, they are undefinable in any form other than the simple word used to describe them. Primarily because they are as unique to an individual as fingerprints. No two people will agree on what the definition of an emotional term is because we all feel something different. That makes us people. Humans.

Now, some have said in recent years that the quality of friendship has been declining. With the quantity of "friends" increasing. Constant phone calls, text messages and social networking sites may have helped people connect, but the value of some of these friendships seems to have declined. Most of us speak to some people everyday but that does not mean that they fit the role of friend.

I admit that my personality and busy lifestyle means that I do not get to call people often. And lets face it, I can be downright flaky in forgetting. But I have never been a chatter. I have never numbered my friends in quantity and I did not realize that for some people require that for friendship. The sad truth is then, I am not the friend for them. But that does not mean that I don't believe in the value of friendship.

For me, friendship exists beyond phone calls and text messages. Beyond meaningless email jokes sent around the world. Friendship is what makes you concerned to ask if there is anything wrong. Friendship makes you help when a friend needs it. A friend is a friend regardless of time, space and distance. The Roman philosopher Cicero believed that in order to have a true friendship with someone, one must have complete honesty, truth, and trust. He also thought that friends would do things for each other without expectation of repayment.

But then, Cicero didn't have a cell phone.

1 comment:

  1. Here, here! Wonderful post. That said, if I've pissed you off, please let me know. LOL

    See ya tonight! I'll bring that scarf with me!