Recently I fell out with one of my ‘friend’ – It betrayed my faith. Thiis assault really made me sit up and I decided to take a fresh look at the very institution of friendship.
One of the standard English dictionaries defines friendship as ‘affection, affinity, alliance, amity, attachment, benevolence, closeness, concord, familiarity, fondness, friendliness, good-fellowship, good will, harmony, intimacy, love, rapport, regard’ between unrelated individuals. It is thus evident that the term has much more depth than what we usually understand and more often we tend to use it loosely. I seriously doubt whether any of our normal friendships ever reach such lofty levels of sincerity and purpose; but the pertinent question is whether it is a basic necessity to have any friendship at all?
In a highly competitive society like ours, there is hardly anything that one can offer another and consequently true friendship among equals is like a mirage. More often it is foolishness to strive for it. Stories about meeting of minds, conscience keeping and friends from last birth are all things of the past. Nowadays we have only convenient relations to get things done one way or other. The fact that participants in a friendship have no blood relation calls for some other binding force to hold the relationship together. And such a force can be unleashed only by offering a helping hand, monetary or in some other manner. Strong and true friendship breeds only on feeding each other and those who have nothing to give can never strike a friendship. In other words, friendship is akin to debt and unless one can service it, never go for it.