Hanging the Boots of Friendship
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”
― Bob Marley
― Bob Marley
Not just Bob Marley but many other renowned personalities have also given their loveable, generous, fascinating views about friendship time to time and we generally find them very interesting. But in reality are you really ready to “suffer” non reciprocally? And more interestingly, how do you know who worth suffering or even more basic who actually is your friend? How do you define or what are your standards for friendship?
If I know a person for years, we talk regularly, we care, we talk about world, universe, crushes, may be love, politics, life stories, incidents, we call each other friends; does that mean we really are friends? It may seems like we are friends because we think that we are doing nearly everything that friends do so the next question; is that person worth my suffering? If not, then may we need a different parameter for friendship.
A wise man has said:
“How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give 'em.”
So I break my rules, doesn’t matter I call myself an atheist but still I go and pray, I take some hard decisions and all other things that I can do as a normal person. So now I have created a platform for my friendship and she is all the thanks for my deeds, and calling me friend for life and all other fascinating things. One can think we are friends now. But is it true? Few days later when things go back to normal my “friend” may call me mean and selfish or more. (Manisha)
What did I miss? Even after doing every possible thing selflessly I got the remark “mean”! Why my so called friend doesn’t worth suffering and if this friend doesn’t then who else, on which standards I define that “being worthy” status?
I think this is not just a problem specific to me; we all misuse the word “friend” oftenly. Our life has so many problems just because we miscalculate things or maybe even we don’t know what to expect from friends. So I think we should go back to the basic question and try to figure out this friendship.
Friendship is like a tree with roots grounded into the life nurtured by the honesty, love, trust, commitment, solid trunk of shared events, communication, and what this tree gives is joy, welfare, hope, better life. So we can say friendship is a distinctively personal relationship that is grounded in a concern on the part of each friend for the welfare of the other, for the other's sake, and that involves some degree of intimacy. It is one of the best things that a person can have in their life. It acts like a mirror, showing what really you are. It has power to shape life and that’s why one can tell alot about a person just by looking at the friends he has.
Friendship essentially involves a distinctive kind of concern for your friend, a concern which might reasonably be understood as a kind of love. Ancient Greeks distinguished their notion as three: agape, eros, philia.
Agape is a kind of love that does not respond to the antecedent value of its object but instead is thought to create value in the beloved. In this we don’t care what the person is; we simply love her without any reason. This is what we usually termed as “Love” in common life. Badhwar characterizes agape as “independent of the loved individual's fundamental characteristics as the particular person she is”. Love is an evaluative attitude directed at particular persons as such, an attitude which we might take towards someone whether or not that love is reciprocated and whether or not we have an established relationship with her. (Roop)
By contrast, eros and philia are generally understood to be responsive to the merits of their objects—to the beloved's properties, especially his goodness or beauty.
‘eros’ are the relationships similar to philia but has an additional attribute of sexual desire.(???)
‘philia’ originally meant a kind of affectionate regard or friendly feeling towards not just one's friends but also possibly towards family members, business partners, other friends. Contemporary accounts of friendship differ on whether family members, in particular one's children before they become adults, can be friends. (Dineet, Veepak, Jahesh, Mkhil, Tratik,Prinkle)
This is the way friendship(philia) is different from love(agape), this kind of relationship grounded in a particular kind of special concern each has for the other as the person he is. (You ≠ Roop) Consequently, accounts of friendship tend to understand it not merely as a case of reciprocal love, but as essentially involving significant interactions between the friends—as being in this sense a certain kind of relationship. (prinkle)
Aristotle has distinguished three kinds of friendship: friendships of pleasure, of utility, and of virtue.
Poignancy is now a days most friendships lies in first two categories. Most people not only recognize nothing as good in our life unless it is profitable, but look upon friends as so much stock, caring most for those by whom they hope to make most profit. Accordingly they never possess that most beautiful and most spontaneous friendship which must be sought solely for itself without any ulterior object. They fail also to learn from their own feelings the nature and the strength of friendship. But unless this feeling is transferred to another, what a real friend is will never be revealed; for he is, as it were, a second self. (Tomu)
Problem is how can you be concerned about your friend if you only want pleasure or utility out of him. If you benefit your friend because, ultimately, of the benefits you receive, it would seem that you do not properly love your friend for his sake, and so your relationship is not fully one of friendship after all. So it looks like pleasure and utility friendships are at best deficient modes of friendship; by contrast, virtue friendships, because they are motivated by the excellences of your friend's character, are genuine, non-deficient friendships.
What should be included in the friendship is mutual care(or love), intimacy, and shared activity. Philosophically these are the themes of friendship.
We all care about something; it may be an object, pet, person may be from family, so caring about friend is no exception. We care about our friends at least in part because of the good qualities of their characters that we discover them to have this is in line with the understanding of love as philia or eros. In caring about a friend, we thereby project a kind of intrinsic value onto him; this is in line with the understanding of love as agape. Within friendship the influence need not go only one direction. Friends influence each other's conceptions of value and how to live. Indeed, that friends have a reciprocal effect on each other is a part of the concern for equality many find essential to friendship. For example if a friend lacks at the concept of communication then it is indispensable to let her know the importance of it because it is an integral part of friendship.
Thomas claims that we should understand what is here called the intimacy of friendship in terms of mutual self-disclosure. I tell my friends things about myself that I would not dream of telling others, and I expect them to make me privy to intimate details of their lives. The point of such mutual self-disclosure is to create the “bond of trust” essential to friendship, for through such self-disclosure we simultaneously make ourselves vulnerable to each other and acknowledge the goodwill the other has for us. Such a bond of trust is what institutes the kind of intimacy characteristic of friendship. Entering into and sustaining a relationship of friendship will normally involve considerable trust in your friend's goodwill towards you generally, and not just concerning your secrets. For trusting my friend's assessments of my good in this way seemingly involve trusting not only that she understands who I am and that I find certain things valuable and important in life but also and centrally that she understands the value of these things that are so meaningful to me. Friends can influence and shape each other's evaluative outlook, so that the sharing of a sense of value is reinforced through the dynamics of their relationship. If I can love my friend as I love me then it justifies why the friendships of pleasure and utility, which do not involve such procreation, fail to be genuine friendships.
According to Friedman, the intimate friendship takes the form of a committed friends, a commitment in which“Friend’s successes become occasions for joy; her judgments may provoke reflection or even deference; her behaviour may encourage emulation; and the causes which she champions may inspire devotion…. One's behaviour toward the friend takes its appropriateness, at least in part, from her goals and aspirations, her needs, her character—all of which one feels prima facie invited to acknowledge as worthwhile just because they are hers.”
According to Sherman's Aristotle, an important component of friendship is that friends identify with each other in the sense that they exhibit a “singleness of mind.”
Friends should engage themselves in joint pursuits. These joint pursuits can include not only things as making something together, playing together, and talking together, but also pursuits that essentially involve shared experiences, such as going for movie, party, trip, adventure together. Yet for these pursuits to be properly shared in the relevant sense of “share,” they cannot involve activities motivated simply by self-interest: by, for example, the thought that I’ll go with you on a trip only to Chandigarh because I have a girlfriend there. Rather, the activity must be pursued in part for the purpose of doing it together with my friend, and this is the point of saying that the shared activity must be motivated, somewhat, by the friendship itself.
But there is a problem, again, people are so busy that they have nearly forgotten all the shared activities; or they take friendship for granted. Moreover friends have double standards, they may not get time for you but they always have time for someone else. Consequently, according to this line of thought, any account of the intimacy of friendship that fails to understand the sharing of interests in such a way as to make sense of this distinction ought to be rejected.
Now when I look back; I am unable to control my laughter. I am laughing on my absurdness, bewilderedness that I created in my life by waiting for those who really never were my friends, it was agony all the time nothing else. But why did I wait, it was a hope given by my dearest and also nearest ones; I was trying to find them in all others but that was not possible. I trusted those to whom I was just a utility. In this world only reciprocal love exists not friendship, it just doesn’t fit into the course and so I am hanging my boots of friendship.By: Jaidev Yadav