I cannot help but wonder sometimes, what Friendship is essentially made of. What makes a good or a bad Friend. How important can someone be, a person who does not belong in our biological family. “Friends constitute our second family”, “Friends are the family we choose to belong to”, these phrases consist the most “commercial” expressions in Greece. Let us reflect on both, a global literature masterpiece, which is regarded as a hymn to pure friendship and a noteworthy philosophical approach.
Excerpt from the book “The little Prince”, Chapter 21
And he went back to meet the fox.
"Goodbye," he said.
"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
"It is the time you have spent for your rose that makes your rose so important."
"It is the time I have spent for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
"People have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . ."
"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
Saint-Exupéry, A. ., Woods, K., & Harcourt, Brace & World,. (1943). The little prince.
Excerpt from the book “The Nicomachean ethics”, Books I-II
The term “friend”, in the all-embracing context of true friendship, presupposes the fact that a person cannot be a friend with many people, the same way he cannot be in love with many individuals at the exact same time. The aforementioned facts are founded on the perception that true friendship bears a resemblance to hyperbole which, when it regards love, is oriented towards a specific individual. Certainly, it is not possible for a person to like many other people to the highest extent. Except the before-mentioned details, one has to acquire a fundamental experience (concerning their character), via a long term communication, a fact that encloses a certain level of difficulty. It is also possible that many people might like a specific person, when it is about interest and pleasure, due to the fact that there are quite many people with these attributes and also because the (mutual) provision of services usually takes quite some time.
Aristotle, ., Ross, W. D., & Brown, L. (2009). The Nicomachean ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
All in all, I fervently agree with the words of Lucius Annaeus Seneca:
“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood”. I shall add here, at what extent are we eager to understand the others?
*United Nations have declared the International Day of Friendship on July 30th.