F riendship is considered one of the central human experiences, and has been sanctified by all major religions. The Epic of Gilgamesh
, a Babylonian poem that is among the earliest known literary works in history, chronicles in great depth the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The Greco-Roman had, as a paramount example, the friendship of Orestes and Pylades. The Abrahamic faiths have the story of David and Jonathan. Friendship played an important role in German Romanticism. A good example for this is Schiller's The Hostage (ballad). The Christian Gospels state that Jesus Christ declared, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."(John 15:13). In philosophy, Aristotle is perhaps best known for his discussion (in the Nicomachean Ethics
) of philia
, which is usually (somewhat misleadingly) translated as "friendship", and certainly included friendship, though is a much broader concept. Cultural variations: (stub-section) A group of friends consists of two or more people who are in a mutually pleasing relationship engendering a sentiment of camaraderie, exclusivity and mutual trust. There are varying degrees of "closeness" between friends. Hence, some people choose to differentiate and categorize friendships based on this sentiment. Two Kinds of Friends ·
A simple friend stands by you when you are right. A real friend stands by you even when you are wrong.
A simple friend identifies himself when he calls. A real friend doesn't have to.
A simple friend opens a conversation with a full news bulletin on his life. A real friend says, "What's new with you?"
A simple friend thinks the problems you whine about are recent. A real friend says, "You've been whining about the same thing for 14 years. Get off your duff and do something about it."
A simple friend has never seen you cry. A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.
A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names. A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.
A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party. A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.
A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed. A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.
A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems. A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.
A simple friend wonders about your romantic history. A real friend could blackmail you with it.
A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest. A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.
A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument. A real friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've had a fight.
A simple friend expects you to always be there for them. A real friend expects to always be there for you.