What is friendship?
I thought i knew what being a friend really meant. But I decided to look up the meaning . Here is what wikipedia says of friendship:
Friendship is the mutually cooperative and supportive behavior between two or more people. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, affection, and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis. Friends will welcome each other's company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism. Their tastes will usually be similar and may converge, and they will share enjoyable activities. They will also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as the exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship. A friend is someone who may often demonstrate reciprocating and reflective behaviors. Yet for some, the practical execution of friendship is little more than the trust that someone will not harm them.
I think this value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
the tendency to desire what is best for the other
sympathy and empathy, honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart and mutual understanding.
I personally do not think you have to necessarily have all the similar interests. For example, my spouse and I do not all like the same things with the same amount of passion. This may be sports or television, the type of movie or color schemes of a particular room. I think, by the way, of my spouse as my best friend. The kind of friend that you think of first when something good(or bad) happens because you want so badly to share that with them. Life really is better when you are sharing it with someone.
What is strange though is that I never really had "best" friends growing up. I had a lot of friends but not that "best" friend that was always there for me and vice versa. I started to think about that.
Why did I not have a best friend growing up? After serious reflection I think I know that answer. I am incredibly selfish. There, I said it. Not particularly proud of this but I see it for what it was. I had really good friends so I examined these relationships. I found that these friends were the very epitome of friends as described in the opening of this post. They thought of my wants and needs or shared my desires and so we got along splendidly. But it was only because we were in the same after school activities or went to church together that "I" was their friend. I don't think I was ever that friend who went out of his/her way to look after those friends.
What my spouse has done with me is amazing. I have noticed that I have been shown by example what the true meaning of friendship is. When I looked up friendship, what I found described their attributes in our relationship to a tee. Now does not that feel awesome! You bet it does.
I think during my 200+ years I have grown and matured and I think I have developed some very good friendships. But these are only because of the fact that I was able to learn how to be a better friend. I have learned to listen. To be willing to do something that maybe is not my favorite thing to do because it is theirs. To be willing to go out of my way in order to help/serve someone else.
So, what kind of friend are you?
Do you have many friends around you who really can be defined by wikipedia's definition of friendship?
Are you that kind of friend?