Salutations Populace of Dawson,
Friendship. How do you know you have it? How do you how when you’ve lost it? How does one define friendship? Does everyone have a different idea of what friendship is? Or is there a general consensus?
If I were to define friendship, I would take Cicero’s definition of the term, “in order to have a true friendship with someone one must have complete honesty, truth, and trust. Also, friends do things for each other without expectation of repayment. If a friend is about to do something wrong, one should not compromise one’s morals.” Now, if you were to look among your Facebook friends, how many people could you actually call a friend?
The reason I am discussing friendship with you this week is because I encountered an old high school friend. By that, I mean we had a friendship as Cicero would define the term; he wasn’t just some guy in my year. However, after high school we attended different CEGEPs and we grew apart which, sadly, happens in life. Recently, I ran into this old friend of mine and it was as if we had just seen each other yesterday.
We were joking around like the old days until I asked him what was new in his life. That’s when he told me he was going to Afghanistan to fight (he’s a reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces). That’s when I started to wonder, is this person still my friend? Or, has he drifted off into the “acquaintances” column?
I don’t say that just because he’s going to war, but more to the fact that I haven’t seen him or spoken to him in well over a year. I don’t know what his new interests are, if his hobbies have changed, what he now likes and dislikes. So, how can I call this person my friend?
On the other hand, I ask myself, how do other people define friendship? If I meet you once and we hit if off, can we be friends? Do friends at first sight exist? Or, does a true friendship have to develop over time, to give it the opportunity to prove itself? Are close friends of friends considered friends, even though I may only see them occasionally on a Saturday night? I can’t answer these questions and I now believe that friendships are much more complicated than sexual and romantic relationships.
So, is my old high school friend still a real friend (as Cicero would have it)? If I meet him after he returns from Afghanistan, will we still joke around together? Will we be honest with each other on what we think of war and politics? Or, am I, are we, destined to pick up and discard friends like the newest, trendy running shoes? I don’t have an answer for you this week.
Stay Classy Dawson…Word to your mothers!
Samuel Lavigne Schmidt