What is Friendship?

January 18th, 2021 by Ken

According to the dictionary, a friend is a person ones knows well and is fond of.  A friend can also be a supporter or a sympathizer.  Webster’s has half a dozen definitions of a “friend”.

I have 501 Facebook friends.  I have to admit, I don’t really know some of them well, but I do know many of them.  For the most part, they are people whom I am fond of – to varying degrees.

Because of Facebook and other media, we now throw the term “friend” around without a great regard to what it really means to be a friend.  In many instances, we use the term loosely as a definition of “acquaintance”.

When it was noted that I had been infected with Covid 19;  I had nearly a hundred people post notes of support (and love) on Facebook.  I had more than two dozen calls from those concerned about my health.  And, I had half-dozen friends (other than family) who visited me in person despite the perceived danger to their own health.

But, is that really the defining element of friendship?  Is being a friend as simple as showing concern?

I believe showing compassion and concern is a significant sign of friendship. But, I also believe that having a friend requires that you spend time and emotional energy in fostering that relationship.

I have friendships which have lasted more than half-a-century.  I have many “old” friends.  Some of them I see on a regular basis and enjoy their company as I have always done.  Others I see only once or twice a year, but when we get together its as if we saw each other only last week.

But, I also have many new friends.  Relationships that are only a few years old and in some cases only a few months old.  Those friendships are old friendships in the making, just waiting for time to add its flavor in the form of common activities, spice in the form of disagreements, and the sweetness of conversation and spending time with each other as the defining element.

When I lose a friend, through death or through some unthinking action on my part – – I mourn.  Next to the death of a family member, I can’t think of anything worse than the loss of a friendship.

These recent few years has made it more difficult to retain some friendships.  Often we are judged on some minor slight, or uttered statement, which affects our perception of each other.  For some, these can’t be overcome.  But, for me, disagreements and even arguments are the elements which test the strength of the relationship and bind us to each other.   From that, we get the compassion. concern, and mutual understanding which are the basis of all friendships.


Posted in Informational, The Real News

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