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Friendships

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NOTE: this was actually a clunky practice essay for my entrance test to university written on the fly in 15 minutes. Here it is for your bemused perusal.

Friendships are seen as important by most people but many friendships are superficial and fragile largely because they are taken for granted.

A friendship is a warm platonic, amiable, mutual relationship between two people. It is a an important outlet for communication, spiritual wellbeing and human connection. Without friendship, it is difficult to conceive of proper human development, especially in the social sphere. But many of us – even, most of us – don’t really think about our friendships a lot of the time or, at least, do not reflect upon them so that many are almost routine parts of our day.

A lot of friendships develop haphazardly. We meet at school or at work or at some other incidental event and naturally start chatting and becoming acquainted, perhaps, for nothing better to do. Friendships formed like this can be very self-serving, that is, we are friends because the situation requires it – this is more a kind of teamwork. Such friendships can fall apart when the situation changes – home life versus work life or even just when the mutual parties learn more about each other. The shocking thing about such friendships is, what with social pressures to work and earn a living, many people form few other types of friendships apart from these “situational acquaintances”. Friendships based on past experiences – old school friends for example – can be just as fragile as life situations change and mutual pathways diverge.

Closer friendships at first appear to be based upon having similar interests – in politics, pastimes, sports etc – but, if examined closely, it will be seen, and perhaps discovered, that these friendships are dependent on their mutual interests almost as much as the “situational friendships” are based on a specific situation. Approached from outside of these “common interests”, the friendship often wears thin very quickly.

The greatest and strongest friendships are, I believe, based upon apparently nothing – you feel you cannot exactly nominate what it is that binds you together. This is because there is a similarity of outlook or perception, rather than mere subject or experience, that is vitally close. Such a friendship is hard to find and often undervalued but is a great developer of character, mutually, and even an outlet for spiritual love and companionship.

Friendships are mostly taken for granted as they are second in importance to selfish needs – the needs of the situation at hand. The greatest friendships appear to occur by accident, for “no reason”, as they are a kind of spontaneous spiritual union rather than a means to an end. It is easy to overlook such a friendship precisely because there appears to be no “rational” reason to uphold it.

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Written by tomtomrant

20 May 2011 at 7:52 pm

Posted in philosophy

Tagged with ,