05 August 2011

On Friendship

For Epicurus, friendship is a major way to ataraxia, or tranquility in life: “Of all the things which wisdom provides to make life entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.” Aristotle developed a sophisticated theory of friendship, recognizing three types: of pleasure, of utility, and of virtue. The first kind applies to situations in which one is a person’s friend because of the direct pleasure that friendship brings — for instance because you like people who are good conversationalists, or with whom you can go to concerts, and so on. Friendships of utility are those in which one gains a tangible benefit, either economic or political, from the relationship. ... For Aristotle, though, the highest kind of friendship was one of virtue, where you are friends with someone because of the kind of person he is, because of her virtues.  ~ Massimo Pigliucci  from this post 

 Luckily, most friendships have a natural life cycle. Often we're drawn together by circumstance—work, the single life, kids—and as our situations change, we gradually drift apart. On a deeper level, our friendships mirror our internal life. "As we gain a stronger sense of self, what used to matter no longer does, and we're bound to outgrow certain friendships," says Florence Falk, PhD, a New York City psychotherapist. "Once you're aware of that, without being cruel or feeling guilt-ridden, you can begin to let go of relationships that no longer nourish your most authentic self."........................

 There's no single template for friendship. Some people are in our lives because they carry a precious shard of our history, while others reflect our passions and priorities right now. Still others are in danger of becoming ex-friends because we're either too preoccupied to pick up the phone or too scared to speak our minds. As Virginia Woolf said, "I have lost friends, some by death—others through sheer inability to cross the street."
Barbara Graham, a regular contributor to O, is the author of Eye of My Heart

Pulled from an article on adult friendships.  They're so well-written there's nothing else I can add. I just thought it was important to share and think about.

1 comment:

creative kerfuffle said...

i love this post. love it. you know of all the friendship issues i have and worry over, this is a great reminder of what friendship is about. love the different sources. thanks for sharing!