“A friendship that can end never really began.” – Piblilius Syrus
“A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words.” -- George Eliot
The foundation of a good friendship is the people involved. According to Robert Louis Stevenson, “a friend is a gift you give yourself.” This means, who you befriend is important because, if you want the foundation of your friendship to be sturdy and strong, the people chosen are crucial. Nobody would want to befriend someone who would judge them, or discourage them. Therefore, what makes a true friend?
According to Aristotle, there are three kinds of friendships: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure, and friendships of the good. Do you ever notice you may have “friends” that you never hear from except when they want something from you? Maybe this person is the materialistic girl sitting in front of you, caking her face with make-up, covering up her ugly personality, instead of paying attention in class, and when you have an assignment she asks you for all the answers claiming to be your “bestie.” This is the perfect example of a friendship revolving around convenience.
Now, have you ever become aware that, much like the scene in Mean Girls when Janis is showing Cady the map of the cafeteria, certain people hang out with each other because they have a mutual interest? The glue of this friendship is a particular kind of shared enjoyment. For example, think of fishing, exercise, or golf buddies. They may not hang out on a regular basis, but when the opportunity comes to fish, golf, or go to the gym, they can always count on each other. That one shared interest is what holds the friendship together, and without it, POOF, the friendship disappears.
Lastly, a friendship of the good is the type of friendship in which you have mutual respect, and that respect may even rise to admiration. You are friends not because it’s convenient, or because they bring you temporary amusement, but simply because you truly like them. This is Aristotle’s highest form of friendship, however, going beyond Aristotle’s three divisions of friendships, there is a fourth kind. It’s what I refer to as a “true friendship.” Not all friendships of good are true friendships, but all true friendships are friendships of good. In order to have a true friendship, you need someone who is a true friend. But how do we distinguish between the type of friend who sticks around when stormy weather approaches, or is ready to split when there's rain in the forecast?
A true friend drops their plans when you’re in trouble, shares joy in your accomplishments, feels sad when you’re in pain. This person is empathetic, they share your feelings. A true friend is not only someone who you can confide in, it’s someone who can mirror the trust you have shown by confiding in you as well. “Close friendship brings with it disclosure,” as said by John 15:15. A true friend will be there for you in good times and bad. You can always count on them to have your back when you’re in trouble, and to stand by you and defend you. They will walk in when you feel as if the rest of the world has walked out. A true friend encourages your dreams and offers advice—but when you don’t follow it, they still respect and love you. The wont de-friend you over a little disagreement, or even a huge one. They will find a way to work things out for the benefit of the friendship. A true friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are. As said by Jim Morrison “a friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.”
“A friendship that can end never really began.” said Publilius Syrus. We encounter these types of relations every day. We deal with them, and righteously seek for better ones. As recited by Benjamin Franklin “a false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines,” and we do not want that. We now know the meaning of a true friendship and desire to obtain one because we deserve more.