Let me begin with --
I’ll be your mirror
Within my circle of friends, watching films and having dinners usually surrenders to conversation; mind-bending, lengthy and worthwhile conversation. And up until recently my happiness was beginning to surrender to feelings of compromise, doubt, weight and worry. So naturally this means busying the life with more dinners and playtime -thus conversations- with friends. Eventually the settling happens, and thoughts are no longer restless, and feelings of comfort begin to create the foundations of harmony. We sit in gratitude, from a distance.
And of course, at times we reach the crossroads with some of our other friends. The ones that might have wronged us. The ones we wronged. We wonder. We regret. And we question. This always leads me to…
The Three Kinds of Friendships…
Friendship based on utility.
Perfect friendship is based on goodness.
Only the friendship of those who are good, and similar in their goodness, is perfect. For these people each alike wish good for the other qua good, and they are good in themselves. And it is those who desire the good of their friends for the friends’ sake that are most truly friends, because each loves the other for what he is, and not for any incidental quality. Accordingly the friendship of such men lasts so long as they remain good; and goodness is an enduring quality. Also each party is good both absolutely and for his friend, since the good are both good absolutely and useful to each other. Similarly they please one another too; for the good are pleasing both absolutely and to each other; because everyone is pleased with his own conduct and conduct that resembles it, and the conduct of good men is the same or similar.Friendship of this kind is permanent, reasonably enough; because in it are united all the attributes that friends ought to possess. For all friendship has as its object something good or pleasant — either absolutely or relatively to the person who feels the affection — and is based on some similarity between the parties. But in this friendship all the qualities that we have mentioned belong to the friends themselves; because in it there is similarity, etc.; and what is absolutely good is also absolutely pleasant; and these are the most lovable qualities. Therefore it is between good men that both love and friendship are chiefly found and in the highest form.
And so, I’ve learned that this argument is based upon the idea of surrounding ourselves with “good” and reasonable people that can help us to share and nurture our ideologies. Should the time come when one realizes that there is no common “good” or idea to be shared, well then the friendship has no foundation.
Then Cicero argues that ALL human beings are bonded together along with Gods, in that commonality of purpose or reason:
Let this, then, be laid down as the first law of friendship, that we should ask from friends, and do for friends’, only what is good. But do not let us wait to be asked either: let there be ever an eager readiness, and an absence of hesitation. Let us have the courage to give advice with candour. In friendship, let the influence of friends who give good advice be paramount; and let this influence be used to enforce advice not only in plain-spoken terms, but sometimes, if the case demands it, with sharpness; and when so used, let it be obeyed.
BUT, the “friendship” speaks for itself when reason cannot be met, when love cannot be met. Not all people are capable of this. Is it not our moral obligation to foster an environment that enables us to grow into becoming a virtuous person ? If we fail in this duty..what next? How do we know what a friendship really is?