#weekendcoffeeshare: What Constitutes Friendship?

#weekendcoffeeshare: I have Lost my Impulse
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

The Daily Post sponsors the #weekendcoffeeshare. Twitter is also using this hashtag. If this is something you’d like to do, whether it be weekly like it’s supposed to be or the way I do it, once a month, I hope you will join in.

Last month I wrote this post as a dialogue between you, the reader and me. This month I am writing it as straight prose. Dialogue will be back next month.

§

If we were to share some time having coffee, I would want to go some place where they also have tea, green tea if at all possible. [It sits better on my stomach.]

The negative vibes floating endlessly around Facebook have me examining what friendship means. This is not a small matter either because what today’s society calls friendship and what I believe it to be is not really coincide. We could discuss what the term means accord to that social media site but, to be truthful, I cannot get past calling the whole network a sham.

Let us consider the term as it applies to life away from the internet.

As a child, most of the children I knew at school I did not refer to as friends. I thought of them as classmates. I knew nothing about their home lives, their families, what they preferred for breakfast, or even what time they were expected to be in bed at night. Sure, there were a couple of them I played with after school and on the weekends, and I did consider them friends. Some of my classmates would arbitrarily call another classmate a friend even though they did not know much about the person.

I could never understand why they would do that. I am still stumped by this. Chances are those classmates rarely or never talked about that person as a friend except to say they knew who the other one was.

Back in time, the nineteenth century, people, in general, were more particular about who they called a friend. The term, acquaintance was used quite often, making the distinction between someone you were just cordial with and someone who you actually confided in on matters that were important to you.

Of course, I have heard it said that people of today divulge all sorts of personal information to people who are little more than strangers. Although I want to be considered an open person to those I meet, this does not mean I want unfamiliar people knowing what only my closest friends are aware of.

image by dimas danardana @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/dimasmotion/

Friendship, to me, means I am willing to put myself on the line for that person. I am not apprehensive about telling him or her the truth even though it may be painful. I am jubilant for that person who something terrific happens to him or her. Though I may experience some envy at times over what this person has or is doing, it never goes beyond into jealousy. I am able to accept his or her honest assessments of me and what I do as well.

Have we become too familiar with people we know absolutely nothing about?

The neighbors I associate with, live on either side of my own residence. When we are out in our yards, we chat for a minute or two. We may wish each other good day as we hop into our respective vehicles to go to work or finish errands. Yet, I cannot say they are friends. We are not involved in each other lives at all.

Be that as it may, I do have a few friends I have never met. Yes, you have probably guessed. I know them from my travels through cyberspace. We have alike interests that keep us communicating through emails, blog comments, and social media sites. But should I be calling this friendship when we have not even shaken hands? Would a better term to describe our relationship one of comradeship?

They sure feel like friends to me. Am I being persnickety of this term, friendship? Maybe to a small degree.

I guess what I am trying express is I believe many people in today’s society do not really understand the meaning of friendship. Despite how much they tell to whoever will listen, they are actually islands within themselves. All of them are utterly isolated if you ask me.

§

“Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship; but when you have decided to admit him, welcome him with all your heart and soul.” ~ Seneca

 

Advertisements

14 Replies to “#weekendcoffeeshare: What Constitutes Friendship?”

  1. The problem with friendship is, I think, related to language, not relationships. The word, like the word love, has a thousand suggestions but none are universal. You think a friend would put herself on the line for someone – but what about someone who runs into a burning house to haul a person to safety? That’s a person who has put herself on the line, but it was for a stranger. We should probably call that person a hero.

    My definition of friendship is bordered by the people whom I consider my friends, but i can’t impose that definition on anyone else – even those whom I consider my friends – they’ll have their own definitions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is true that those who do for others when they do not know them are heroes as opposed to being a friend. Also true, everyone has their own definition of what friendship is. I just thought I would throw in my two cents worth. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an interesting topic, Glynis. Facebook is probably the social media I can live without. I no longer go through my feed and go on it occasionally. Unlike you, I don’t want others to think I am an open person – I’m an introvert, like to keep to myself and I like it like that. To me, friends are the ones who will support you even if they think you are being ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good discussion on friendship. And I’m with you: A friend is someone who know me and my opinions and respects me despite that.Even if they don’t agree. That group has gotten so much smaller in this contentious world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jacqui, I agree that the group has gotten smaller. With me, it is because of moving around. When I lived in Michigan, I had a larger circle of friends. Now I do not seem to have hardly any at all. I am sure part of the problem is me, which does not make it any easier.

      Like

  4. The friends I consider real friends have hung in with me for several years and have become more important to me as the years pass. Then there are the situational friends I have because we are part of the same group and enjoy one another’s company there. Then there are the acquaintances I’m happy to run into and chat with a bit, and those I consider blog-friends with whom I communicate regularly. But real friends are the ones I rely on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like you, I do rely on those who are true friends. Surprisingly, anymore more of them are people I have not spoken to face to face and, instead, are ones I know from the internet.

      Like

Please comment on this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s