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 A definition of what a friendship should be

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emphryio



Posts : 71
Join date : 2009-05-11

PostSubject: A definition of what a friendship should be   Mon 12 Oct 2009, 5:43 am

http://www.tricycle.com/11october2009/

To be in a real relationship, a loving relationship, is simply to be willing to respond and be there for the other person without always calculating what we are going to get out of it.

...look at all the ways in which relationships provide the enabling conditions for our growth and development. That’s particularly obvious with children. We would all agree that children need a certain kind of care and love in order to grow and develop. Nobody would say to a five-year-old, “What do you need Mommy for? Deal with your fear on your own!” The thing is that most of us are still struggling with remnants of that child’s neediness and fear in the midst of a seemingly adult life. Relationships aren’t just crutches that allow us to avoid those fears; they also provide conditions that enable us to develop our capacities so we can handle them in a more mature way.

It’s not just a parent-child relationship or a relationship with a partner that does that. The relationship of a student with a teacher, between members of a sangha, between friends, and among community members—all help us to develop in ways we couldn’t on our own. Some aspects of ourselves don’t develop except under the right circumstances.


...However, you don’t find much in Aristotle about the necessity of romantic love in order to develop. His emphasis was on friendship.

Aristotle said that in order for people to become virtuous, we need role models—others who have developed their capacities for courage, self-control, wisdom, and justice. We may emphasize different sets of virtues or ideas about what makes a proper role model, but Buddhism also asserts that, as we are all connected and interdependent, none of us can do it all on our own.


...We try to squelch our feelings in order not to be vulnerable anymore, and we rationalize that dissociation under the lofty and spiritual-sounding word “detachment,” which ends up carrying a great deal of unacknowledged emotional baggage alongside its original, simpler meaning as the acceptance of impermanence.

We have to get to know and be honest about our particular strategies for dealing with vulnerability, and learn to use our practice to allow ourselves to experience more of that vulnerability rather than less of it. To open yourself up to need, longing, dependency, and reliance on others means opening yourself to the truth that none of us can do this on our own. We really do need each other, just as we need parents and teachers. We need all those people in our lives who make us feel so uncertain.


I would say that as opposed to 'detachment' people call it 'independent' and think it a good way, the proper way to be. And that furthermore excepting your spouse friendships are considered quickly disposable things these days. Every few years you get a new job and move, no point getting too close to anyone.

I would say furthermore that as a married man it's considered on the edge of inappropriate for me to be such a 'friend' with any additional women. At least that's surely how they would see it. I don't really think I can be a friend as defined with anyone woman I work with for example (And I'm a nurse, they're almost all women.) And for that matter most men have this hyperpsuedo (I'm not gay!) machoism that reduces interaction to watching football. Very Happy

So life for most reduces to spouse, food, shelter, tv. And most people are so busy working that's about all they can handle anyway.
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