When my grandfather told me at some family gathering: ‘I have been looking for friends all my life, but I did not find a single one. I hope luck serves you better.’ I thought : ‘What on earth is he talking about?!’
Oh, how many, many friends do I have, not to mention acquaintances. My phone book is crowded with numbers to the extent that I do not want to exchange the old museum piece of a phone for the popular smart phone in order to transfer the very numbers. Not to talk about Facebook, there is an amount of 820 people to be counted, and on my official website: 7000 souls. Some impressive numbers, would not one say?
While I was away somewhere at the end of the world, taking a break, away from the cell phone, only available on Viber, a showcases of friendships and acquaintances opened up and then I began to categorize.
The first drawer
The first drawer is immediately opened, and from it jumped out my brothers, parents and 4-5 friends, anxiously asking whether ‘everything was okay and whether I have arrived?’
The second drawer
Another drawer is opened by those who have wondered where I went and when would I return because they really needed me for something, so if we could do it right away, great, and if not, all right then, when you get back. From the same group some objected that ‘Of all the days you go away now?’ They did not take the effort to report earlier, announce the urgency (occupied with their own lives ), but me taking care of the matter right here and right now would have fit them just perfectly.
The third drawer
The third drawer did not even open up. It remained stuck for acquaintances, friends because they did not even notice that I am somewhere else. Those are the same people who mainly gather from birthday to birthday with enthusiasm, excitement and joy, asking: ‘Hey, so what's new?’ It does not matter that we are not in touch but I will call you on occasions such as birthdays, moving, births, certificates or marriage... When you get such an invitation, the question is raised: ‘Why?’ In order to fill quotas, to bring a gift, because someone else dropped out and freed a chair?
So, why exactly do we maintain annual/semi-annual contact with people who do not contact us except on holidays to send a greeting card? And why do we feel bad if it is not responded to one year, so than to cut that sequence? Are we maintaining artificial friendships out of courtesy?
If you do that and keep on with it, just consider this, do you really have so much time and space on your hands for the matter of friendships that have long been on life support for artificial respiration, and no one wants to pull the plug?
“Share your weaknesses. Share your hard moments. Share your real side. It'll either scare away every fake person in your life or it will inspire them to finally let go of that mirage called "perfection," which will open the doors to the most important relationships you'll ever be a part of.”— Dan Pearce
Friendship Is . . .: 500 Reasons to Appreciate Friends
The real thing
People from my mentioned first drawer, not to be mistaken, are not simple creatures. These are the souls that have environmental fluctuations like all ordinary mortals. These are my dear friends who have had quite a number of times needing a shoulder to cry on, a word of comfort, a haven to hide away. For them it is worth to take the time and energy, because these are my shoulders to lean against, my psychiatrists who listen to me and are my drive.
Friendships are somewhat a reciprocity. Not everyone can give equally in certain stages of life, but they can make it clear that you are important to them in their lives, whether it was public holidays, anniversaries etc. They know your every fear, anxiety, joy and sadness. They know all your flaws, but still do not turn their head from you. They are just there, and you feel it. Everything else is meat and potatoes!
This little fellow above I have met this very year, yet, we bonded as if we have known ourselves since, might I say, childhood days. On the other hand, people with whom I have shared a classroom for years, sat with, did not achieve that kind of level of a friendship. The point is, it is not about the quantity, it is about quality!
The Friendship Factor: How to Get Closer to the People You Care for Paperback – January 1, 2004
People are roasting each other at parties, at work events, around the fire. It's so fun. People are busting each other's chops, and it's a sign of affection, truly. It's a true test of love and friendship: can you make a man laugh at himself? So what makes a good burn? Go after targets you love and respect. And hit 'em hard.— Jeff Ross
Friendship: How to Make Friends Easily, An Introvert's Guide to Building Strong Lifelong Friendships (Friendship, Make Friends, Influence)
Intro to Philosophy: Cicero, On Friendship (part 1)
- Intro to Philosophy: Cicero, On Friendship (part 1) - YouTube
In this discussion/lecture session from Fall 2013 Introduction to Philosophy class at Marist College, we begin our study of Cicero's work, On Friendship. We discuss in particular the different sorts of relationships withing which we find meaning.
Intro to Philosophy: Cicero, On Friendship (part 2)
- Intro to Philosophy: Cicero, On Friendship (part 2) - YouTube
We discuss why virtue or moral goodness- or at least recognizing it and working towards it- is needed for friendships in the fullest sense. We also look at just how virtue unfolds within friendship.
Intro to Philosophy: Big Questions about Love, Friendship, and Desire
- Intro to Philosophy: Big Questions about Love, Friendship, and Desire - YouTube
I lead my students through some discussion of a key set of themes that are motivating the rest of the readings and discussions for the class- issues about Love, Friendship, and Desire. We explore some of the big, thorny questions that often arise.