The Mystery of Friendship
Please Help to Solve a Mystery
Over the last couple of days a thought - a question really - has ruled what I am pleased to call my mind. Why do you lot put up with me? I have a strange sense of humor, I make odd comments on your stories, I regularly and annoyingly ask you to visit sites which are complementary to me and a number of other peculiarities which at the moment escape me. So why do you put up with me? I asked my friend Nellieanna for her opinion on the subject and she gave it to me, but I kept wondering if there is something else. There must be some mysterious process that goes on that creates friendships without our realizing it or even encouraging it. The mystery of friendship.
My father was a rather conservative businessman with a wide circle of other businessmen friends, but when I buried him I was astonished at the hundreds of people who came to his interment. Men in business suits who had left their desks to attend the funeral, but also tradesmen in overalls who left some plumbing job half done in order to be there. A lot of the suits and a lot of the overalls were openly crying.
There was one man there in particular whom my father laughingly described to me once as follows:
“He is a liar, a thief, a drunkard, a gambler and a jailbird. A beautiful man I tell you!”
And there was this very same man crying inconsolably into his huge handkerchief for his dead friend. I thought that this is the mystery of friendship.
You lot may have already ascertained that of all the De Greek virtues, which are obviously numerous, the most endearing one to all thinking men is our modesty. We are distinguished by rosy cheeks which blush easily and all my contemporaries will vouch that in living memory there has never been a period blackened by an immodest De Greek. But besides my modesty, why do you lot put up with me, if it is not out of a vague sense of friendship?
But what is friendship? How can a conservative businessman like my father be friends with “a liar, a thief, a drunkard, a gambler and a jailbird” to the extend of having dinner with him once a week without the need to keep a firm hold of his wallet?
Thinking out aloud, without being sure of the accuracy of my thoughts, is it possible that friendship is a form of platonic love? Just as two people can fall in love instinctively - and often without any logic - can two persons recognize in each other characteristics which are similar to their own and by recognizing these, be attracted to those characteristics and the attraction then creates a likeness, a bond, the bond of friendship for the person having those characteristics? Do we in reality like someone because that someone is spiritually similar to us?
Could it be that the written word is a lie detector? One can try to pretend to be something one is not, but in the end one’s own written words will betray one. We read each other’s stories and those stories reflect the true character of the writer. So I end up with an immense liking of Feline Prophet, even though I have never met her and I have never actually spoken to her. Am I flattering myself to say that I like her because I see a part of myself in her writing?
The answer is “I don’t know”. What do YOU think?
Just consider the following: I have a story on HubPages which has had 7848 visits, but only 112 comments. Another story has had 6418 visits, but only 101 comments, and on another, just 392 visitors and 63 comments . Generally the comments are between sixty to one hundred , irrespective of the number of visitors. Could the implication be that the number of people who have felt a connection with me through my stories is more or less the same? In other words, the implication is that thousands of people have read my stories but felt no connection to me whatsoever, because I was projecting characteristics which were distasteful to them, so they just moved on without leaving a comment?
This theory tends to be supported by the following example: A woman left a very aggressive comment on one of my stories, in a supposedly joking manner, but the aggression was there for all to see. Later on, on a completely different and unrelated story she again became aggressive and she later went on to attack me in an article she wrote. Obviously this person felt no affinity to me at all. By the same token, I am happy to say that I felt no affinity to her at all, as she represents traits which I find unattractive.
So do we see ourselves in the characteristics of others? I would very much appreciate it if you would take the time to discuss this either here or perhaps in a separate article somewhere.