What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies – Aristotle quoted this long time back. my question is whether this concept holds true in this jet age, where we have apparently become modern yet remain far from enjoying a scientific and modern mind and soul.
One can find a plethora of friendship quotes celebrating friends and friendship in your life. There was a time when even I was mesmerized by those quotes and thoughts and found them quite believable (I feel that was due to my age). For me my friends were my source of sustenance. Each and every person at one point of time feels that friendship is the be all and end all of life. Friends and friendship are prioritized more than anything else in the world, even family and love. The feeling of having a friend with whom you can share your innermost joys and sorrows brings your romantic side to the forefront. In this age of internet and websites, the social networking sites are filled up with testimonials from your friends. The number of friends in your profile and the testimonials written about you by them bear testimony of how good and popular you are. There are a lot of people who are against such trends and I am one among them. For me friendship is something which does not require show off. There is simply no need to flaunt your friendship by penning down simply good things about your friends, when you are aware that your friend actually bears thousands of negative aspects. There is also no need of adding friends in your profile just because you want to increase your list, though you know they are simply your acquaintance with whom you may not even talk in reality.
However with the passing of time, my idea about friendship is going through a sea change. Now I, many a times get the feeling that friendship and friends are simply overrated. A friend using you for personal gain and favors is nothing new. However I feel we should not measure how good a friend is by keeping those things in mind. For me there are much deeper things that help us in gauging friendship. A friend should be able to understand you to the fullest and share the deepest secrets without any inhibitions. I have my share of good as well as not so good friends. During certain times I feel as though even my closest friend has not been able to understand me properly, after spending so many years together. I have the feeling that each and every person goes through the same emotion. There have been circumstances in your life which have definitely made you sit back and think whether you are able to put yourself across to your friend properly. Have you ever imagined that your friends at some point of time can subject friendship at the backseat and put superstition and insecurities at the forefront? The beauty and essence of a good friendship is often marred by superstitious beliefs and various forms of insecurities. Hiding things and not discussing issues with your so-called friend just because of some superstition or stigma attached to it do not fall under the anvil of friendship. In my life I have gone through situations where I found, quite disappointingly, that my friends were afraid of doing or discussing certain things with me. Those circumstances have surprised me to the core as they gave me the notion that my friends, with whom I have been living for a long time consider me to be orthodox or dogmatic. Here comes the question of knowing a person thoroughly before making an idea about him/her.
Another aspect which can creep into the so called concept of friendship is insecurity. Everyone faces insecurities in some form or the other. Some people are upfront about such things while some deal with it intelligently. I never consider my friends as my personal property. There are a large number of my friends who are now known to each other because I took the pain of introducing them to each other. However the same does not hold good for everyone else. Is it seriously so hard to share your friends with the person/people you consider as your soulmate/s? There are some people who come across your life at different points, like your boyfriend/girlfriend or your would-be. It is a fascinating experience to have them in your life as you become familiar with a lot of new emotions attached to them. For a normal person it becomes extremely difficult not to talk about the special person with a special friend. After my marriage I have seen people, who hardly know me, discussing with me about those special persons and moments. Those people found me trustworthy of discussing such very personal things with me and even making their special persons a part of my life. Those small gestures really made me feel special and they owe huge THANKS from me! However I have felt the absence of such a feeling when it comes to my near and dear friends. At times you come to know of certain things so late and sudden that they simply leave you shocked and stunned, unable to react.
You still consider your long time close friends an important and integral part of life, discuss and share every joy and sorrow at the earliest. You may feel something missing in your friendship and constantly strive to fill up the gap. Yet at times the gap grows beyond recovery and it becomes useless mourning about the fact. When you become pragmatic and come to terms with the fact, you get the feeling that the beauty of the relation has been sacrificed. The question of expectation plays a significant role here. For me it is fine if you don’t want to discuss certain things. However when ultimately you give the news, don’t blame it on some lame excuses like being superstitious or not sure about how the person will react to it. It is important to understand that your true friend might not always agree to your decisions and can also give you suggestions at certain times which you may or may not like. It is however wrong to presume such things as you may witness a completely different scenario occurring in your favor.
Nowadays I have the feeling that life and along with it the different relations changes manifold after a certain age. You cherish and flaunt having numerous friends and love showing-off the testimonials. With you growing every day, all those friends turn into mere acquaintances. You start running after your life and career and a time comes when you sit back and ponder why your friendship did not last the tests of time, for life. How you wish then that the words uttered by Aristotle remained true for all times and ages!