Why sometimes a fellow is better than a friend? / Prophylactic self-isolation series. Day 308th.

Distorted terms 

For the friendship of two, the patience of one is required. – Indian proverb One may agree that these days the perception of Friendship, as well as of other kind of people relationships like Love or Kindness, is distorted and has got its primitive form, consisting of a few commands how to be. Love is when you add a heart-shape icon into the text, and kindness is when you put another thumb-up on social media. What is a friendship then and how human relations may suffer from it? We live in a world when everything MIGHT BE positive, kind, beautiful, accurate. Everyone tries to hide the gaps and does his/her best to shine. By this, nowadays, some sorts of friendship pushes a Human into the frames of “you must be like this or that, you must do this and that, you must speak like this or that” Once you are identified as a friend – be aware, it may cost you your time, emotions and even financially. Once a person is identified as a friend of someone – now he/she needs to meet the standards. He/she may lose his/her own free way to act as he/she wish, on a constant manner.

Why TO BE a fellow is better than TO BE a friend?

Who is this crazy volunteer, always there to help, always come when called, always smiling and supporting? Your friend, of course!  Are you the same kind of friend to him/her? Or it is just a one-side expectations? So many good words are written about A Friend, how a good friend would act, what he/she would say to you in particular situations. It seems that there is a scanning machine checking “are you good enough to be a friend?” Seems that once two persons have met and feel liking each other – the Friendship begins. Now if you might think to be a good friend, you would try to do your best for that. In other words, you might ignore your own needs to please the other, waive your kind of entertainment for unknown time to please the other, listen and support endlessly, keeping yourself tight and silent, because you are “A Friend”! It might be that in some relationships of “friends” one is playing a role of a good friend while another just enjoys the life. Friendship might be a place where you can be yourself. If you always need to shrink yourself to please your “friend(s)” – you should know, this is a one-side “friendship” where you play a role of that exploited volunteer. For some people it is quite comfortable position, they call you “my friend” gracefully but feel offended when you show up with your needs or preferences. It might be a sorrow, maybe a headache, maybe just a simple melancholy, maybe something has happened, just tired, just lazy, just busy, but now you belong to A Friendship and may better hide your needs. From the other hand, if that friend of you would be busy or tired – you, as a “slave” friend would need to know all the details about his/her situation and help as much as possible.

Those crazy volunteers

But some people really like to be a sort of “crazy volunteer” and follow you wherever. I personally was in a contact with a few persons like that. After some time, when all the entertainment and any place we should go together, and any direction we choose was said to be my choice I said: “Hey, would you tell what You like and where You would like to go and to do? Or am I a travel agent here to entertain and think constantly about the routs?:)”

Real friendship

Real friendship never complicates the things for both of friends. You may always find a healthy compromise in any situation, and feel comfortable anyway. Just do not call all the kind relations you have A Friendship. Just according to the probability theory – the healthy friendship cannot appear among all the fellows, two persons should find one another to enjoy a healthy friendship.

Aristotle about friendship

In Book VIII of his Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle categorizes three different types of friendship: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure, and friendships of the good. Friendships of utility are those where people are on cordial terms primarily because each person benefits from the other in some way. Business partnerships, relationships among co-workers, and classmate connections are examples. Friendships of pleasure are those where individuals seek out each other’s company because of the joy it brings. Passionate love affairs, people associating with each other due to belonging to the same hobby organization, and fishing buddies fall into this category. Most important of all are friendships of the good. These are friendships based upon mutual respect, admiration for each other’s virtues, and a strong desire to aid and assist the other person because one recognizes their essential goodness. Aristotle’s Email – Or, Friendship In The Cyber Age Tim Madigan (1)

References:

  1. Aristotle’s Email – Or, Friendship In The Cyber Age by Tim Madigan on https://philosophynow.org/issues/61/Aristotles_Email_-_Or_Friendship_In_The_Cyber_Age

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