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?