A simple approach to the meaning of « Friendship »

A simple approach to the meaning of « Friendship »

Two young friends. Image for illustration purposes only.
Two young kids. Image for illustration purposes only.

With the unprecedented acceleration of the pace of life and the tightness of our daily schedule, we got more aware of the vital role of our social relationships. We also got completely conscious of the meaning of real friends. Life is always teaching us the real meaning of things and how to distinguish the good from the bad after paying a considerable price.

Everyone wishes to be surrounded by one’s family and friends in order to feel their warmth and care. No one can stand the monotonous life of loneliness and isolation.

In fact everyone is deprived from the choice of one’s family members but one has the ample right to choose friends, and this choice can’t always be successful.

By all means most of us need a close friend, with whom one spends some time free from all kinds of considerations, to whom one reveals one’s worries and thoughts. The search of that friend usually seems as a long journey full of disappointment and depression. There is a recurrence of the attempt for a handful of times until one loses hope, gets pessimistic and therefore starts producing false judgements and stereotypes.

The word friendship means a relationship of mutual affection and respect. “Mutual” refers to a process where all partners participate and work together in order to build and consolidate a solid relationship based on trust, affection, sacrifice and selflessness. The word friend appears as a status that implies all kinds of responsibilities and duties. In other words it can be perceived as a moral contract whose terms are morally strict and unbreakable.

Every person has got a typical repertoire of criteria that defines the features of one’s own friend. Seemingly we agree on some common basics since a good friend for most of people is someone who is loyal, trustworthy, a giver not only a taker, a rescuer, an adviser, a good listener, a nice company, etc. But one has to ask oneself many questions before starting one’s long journey of search and selection. Am I good enough to get such a gift (friend)? Do I present this strong repertoire to hope to meet a similar one? Isn’t this approach the major reason of a series of successive failures? Isn’t this repertoire a kind of utopia?

We have to keep in mind that many people respond to these criteria and present a light of hope in the darkness of our real life. For sure these people seem to be counted on the fingers of one hand, hence the need for paying a high price to get one.

A friend is a giver but not necessarily a taker whereas the relationship of friendship itself is a giver and taker, it takes what the actors provide from sacrifice to selflessness and it gives hope, peace and all kinds of moral and material support. Therefore such a relation requires huge efforts whose core is a set of noble values such as patience, forgiveness, optimism, understanding, and spontaneity.

Like most of human relationships, friendship may suffer from some foggy moments of boredom and misunderstanding, but with a certain level of awareness and selflessness shown from all partners, these moments can wear on quickly and without leaving any crisis; on the contrary it may strengthen the relationship and make it more mature.

Furthermore to get the process of friendship going on, we should always remember all the events and be grateful and never judge the other actor by a single event or a forgivable mistake. Selfishness, arrogance and stubbornness usually lead to breakup and the beginning of another episode of an alternative search, putting aside all kinds of responsibility and blaming the previous partner. However, no one can deny that such a divorce may present a good solution for many cases.

All in all, friendship looks like a tree that needs water and a special care to grow and expand in a healthy environment. The more its roots are healthy and strong, the more it grows higher and never bends to the strong winds that come from all directions.