On Friendship


The mutual bond that binds us to our friends are common traits, interests, proximity, and other factors that we value. When our values are appraised, these values sometimes shift in importance and hierarchy, and thus our friendships may see a turn in our observance of them. A skill that may take us some time to learn and refine is finding friends that are of quality. People we have befriended in the past may no longer be our friends today, due to a myriad of rationale’s. Whether it be distance or discontent that separate us, friendships are an essential part in our lives, our social networks, and in our society.

A life without friendships would not be worth living. The need for connection with others sustains a critical prerogative in our existence. It has been said that when you rise in life, your friends know who you are. When you fall, you know who are your friends.

The spectrum of friendship is defined endlessly in all sources of media, but they primarily speak about the conditions of friendship, and the benefits or disadvantages of the kind of friendships that exit. The union of friends is one thing, the effect of that union on others is also another discussion. When the study of friendship is conducted, the subject seldom includes the interrelations and the social implications.

It seems to reason that childhood friends if chosen wisely have a better chance in minimizing their growing pains and maximizing the shared values of their relationship, because when we learn more about ourselves and have a deeper insight into the subtleties of our condition we begin to experiment and employ these learned social understandings into our relationships, and thus in the process we may re-evaluate what was once a shared attribute. A friendship based on the childhood activity of baseball is a different experience than the adult friendship based on a shared appreciation of the game, or one that’s focus is on the competitive component. A childhood experience of playmates tends to have less to do with the imposition of morality and more to do with simply just the fun that is shared. The older one gets, the more one is susceptible to the civic socialization outside of the home. The ideas of the larger social groups absorb into psyche’s of the children.

An unawareness of our ego’s desires or an analysis from the vantage of the self may lead us to make questionable difficulties for our friends. Many teenagers and adults alike often dispense and tolerate an impetuous potpourri of both an emotional and intellectual ethos. In the process of maturation, a child becomes and transforms their nature, their personification often reflects the stages observed in chronological age expectancies. Ego, politics of social hierarchy, collecting social inventories, status driven desires, materialism, and vanity often enter into these developmental years of adolescence and young adults, and sometimes in childhood itself that distort our social relationships.

I can confer that for every stage of human development, there are many life lessons that can be learned in the relationships that we develop. It is true that for most of us, our behavior will change to some degree depending on who is with us, the location of where we are, and the number of how many people are around us. Obviously the scope of these social opportunities are dependent on: our values, the quality of the relationship, the frequency of our encounters, and the skill of negotiating conflicts and agreements in these relationships. Some may learn from these opportunities, and some may not when we consider our personal relationships. We have most certainly had the allure of entertaining many of them ourselves and quite frankly many of us continue to be captive in bellicose and contentious positions.

I am continually amazed by the accounts of my peers and elders. Some profoundly inspire me, as others leave a dark rift in their impression upon me. It frequently takes our friends to remind us when we need to pull back from our misdeeds. What I find interesting is that some friends will backup their friends when they know their friend is making a mistake in a decision they have acted upon. This is most disturbing when others are the nexus of this action exhibiting negative consequences to them. Sometimes we justify our actions, but we are fallible and often make mistakes. In criminal law they are called accomplices or accessories to the crime committed. The friendships we establish lead us to events that introduce us into situations that we may not have normally been introduced into. This can provide us with a trove of personal treasures or it can lead us to audacious situations. Our choices can free us from any former bond we share. If the value we place on a friendship’s loyalty supersedes our value on other principles, then we risk the degradation of these other values. A true friend would not risk the collateral damage of a bad idea or decision, they would advise them.

The qualities I value in friendship are…

Loyalty – Loyalty is a quality that everyone looks for in a friend. A loyal friend will stick with you no matter what the situation is and you can always count on them being on your side. Unfortunately this may have negative consequences depending on the moral ramifications of the deeds being done. Loyalty can depend greatly on the underlying values of the person, and their execution of them in everyday life.

Intelligence – Being a good friend involves being aware of your needs and recognizing your values, and when a person is ignorant and uncaring, it is hard to consider them as a friend. Empathy may be a better word which includes the following.

Sensitivity – Sensitive people make good friends because they often see life on their own terms which allows them to understand the thoughts and feeling of others.

Humor – Life is better when approached with a good sense of humor and people who are happy and outgoing are a lot more fun to be around than someone who is depressed, moody and sees the empty half of the glass all the time.

Honesty – Honesty may be the most important quality for friendship as it is difficult to befriend anyone who tells you lies and can’t be trusted. If you can trust someone to do the right thing in all situations and they are not tempted by temporary gain, it’s a good bet they will make a lasting friend.

Listening – If someone just doesn’t “hear” what you’re saying when you confide in them, they won’t make a very good friend. Communication is a two-way street and being a good listener is one half of the equation.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Supportive – A good friend will be supportive of you and your goals, and they will act accordingly. A true friend will help you become the person you want to be and know how to help you handle problems.

Generosity – A good friend is openly generous in personality and character. They will be generous with both their time and their money, and they won’t hesitate to help you when needed.

Albert Camus

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
Albert Camus
William Shakespeare

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
William Shakespeare
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau

“The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend.”
Henry David Thoreau

One thought on “On Friendship

Leave a Reply