Friendship: What is it?

This is in response to the prompt on this topic here.

I’m sure we all know for ourselves, what a friend is, and by extension, what friendship is. But could you define it? A dictionary will give you something like ‘One who is held by another in warm regard and/or affection, especially if not part of the same family.’ OK, fair enough, I wouldn’t argue with a definition like that. But does it go far enough?

You might judge the warmth of a friendship according to how much you think a person would do for you, if you were in trouble or some kind of need. That would be fair, too, but what, exactly, is the motivating force?

Just try this little exercise: Grab a piece of scrap paper (yes, the back of that messed-up photo-copy will do nicely) and a pen. Holding the paper steady with your free hand, write your full name, followed by whatever else comes randomly into your head at that moment. Then sign it, fold the paper in half, an rest the pen on top.

There are now some of your dead skin cells on the pen and the paper. Some dead, no-longer connected bits of the physical you.

Now think about the last conversation you had with anyone you would call a true friend. You may have had hours of incessant chatter, or exchanged a handful of words; how did you feel afterwards, as opposed to beforehand? How did you hope they felt? If indeed you are true friends, something of each other should remain in your minds. Something alive, vital, fresh and special, powerfully connected with the whole person. And it will grow, right until you meet again. Rather like a signature. Only better.

What do you think?

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4 Responses to Friendship: What is it?

  1. Mrs TeePot says:

    Very interesting piece, certainly made me think!

  2. Love this, it is true that a part of the people that are special to us remains in our hearts and minds, irrespective of how distant we are. I think I have become more aware of this since I moved so far away. I love the way you have explained the idea in such a thought provoking way. Thank you so much for linking to #ThePrompt and so, so sorry it took me so long to come over and comment *hangs head in shame*. Have a wonderful Christmas x

  3. Susan Mann says:

    Beautiful and makes you think. You have such a way with words

  4. Fiona Chick says:

    This is a fascinating and thought-provoking way to consider the meaning of friendship. I think that the term ‘friend’ is trivialised and applied to folk that probably wouldn’t leave that living spark in you. I don’t have many friends, but the handful I do have leave me with that special, growing signature. And actually, I suspect this is true of everyone. A terrific post.

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