Friendships can be made during all stages of life. Some people have childhood friends, college friends, work friends and so on. However, what do these friendships mean and how do they impact your day to day life? From early stages, the importance of friendship has been emphasized. The philosopher Aristotle has stated, “In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds”.
Friendships can take time to form or may develop faster than you realize. Those friends that take time to hear your feelings and understand your perspective in times of need, who can talk to you day and or night, those friends who understand why you are sad on certain dates, those are the one who impact your lives. The leaning shoulder that is there for you and you for them, is powerful in the plight of having a successful, supportive relaionship. Author Mark Vernon explored a variety of definitions on the impact of friendship from well-known personalities. For example, Ralph Emerson said, “A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere.” Vernon’s book, The Philosophy of Friendship, makes the point that we have current reputable idea that money does not buy happiness. He suggests that we take the lead from Aristotle and spend at least a fifth of our time with our friends. Vernon asks, “Is this not what children do in their persistent requests to play with their friends?”.
Additionally, Vernon states that a close friend is a mirror of your own self, someone with whom you realize that you are not alone. He concludes that if we cultivate friendship, we can “lift some of the burden from our apparently unhappy, isolated selves”. Similarly, It has been theorized that venting with a friend is just as therapeutic as counseling sessions. The time of raw emotion and unbiased support is a common and critical piece of friendship. Each friend, continuous or lost, has an insight to your life, your feelings, your thoughts, and your heart. Those are precious places that are typically only given to family, friends, and significant others.
However, some people may not have the opportunity to meet others in public places or work from home. Due to technological advancement, meeting potential friends can be done through specific cites, webpages, or social media groups. There may not be anyone in the world that is just like you, but there are many people who may have experienced similar things to you. These windows of opportunistic friendship are gateways to memories, support, acceptance and possible life long companions.
How have you created friendships with some of your closest friends? If you need new friendships or a friendship in general, check out these resources to aid you in the process!
Tom Rath: Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without.
Mark Vernon: The Philosophy of Friendship.
Blogs and Apps
Reference: Vernon, Mark. The Philosophy of Friendship. Palgrave Macmillan: November 2006