FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection and love  between people. In other words it is  familiar and liking of each others mind. It is not something we  learn in school.   Man cannot live all alone. He is a social being. He needs someone to share his joys and sorrows.  The strength of the bond of friendship between two people can vary. If the bond is very strong i.e., being kind, generous, loyal,  honest etc., between the friends, they are called BEST FRIENDS. With these qualities one can enjoy the bliss of friendship.

Friends are important to have because they support us when things get tough in life and are always there to love and help.   Friends will come and go in our lives.  A good friend is trustworthy to tell us  the truth, even when it is hard for us to hear, makes us  smile, and is there to listen and comforts when we cry. Having good friends who stood  first in difficult situations is really important.  A good  friend is one who admires a person's skills and helps or encourages  to make the right choices and do not get into any trouble at all.  He does  not confront  when his friend did not accept and   fails to follow  his  suggestions,  instead  respect and value his friend's feelings. Love is not only meant for lovers.  It is also for friends who love each other better than  lovers. A real friend is very hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget. 

The best friend is one who  acknowledges the  feelings of his friend  but at the same time points  towards a happier and healthier life. He is a person to whom we  say the things that we cannot tell to our parents, brothers, sisters and  other family members.  So best  friend  is the person whom we trust much and whom we can make our  true secret helper.  He is one who never deceives us  and  walks in when the rest of the people  walks out. The best friend  does not just merely stand by silently,  when others are teasing us  down,  no matter what consequences he  may face in the society. He is not only honest about himself, but he is  also honest about us.

Age  really does not matter when it comes to friendship. We  can share our thoughts, open up our feelings  with them which is the actual definition of friendship.  When friends with our same age group messes up our life, older friends will give us advice how to set it right. Younger friends will help us in understanding the present technology and the trend better.

A  recent Harvard study concluded that having solid friendship in our life even helps promote brain health.  Friends helps us to deal with stress, make better life style choices that keeps us strong, and allow us to rebound from health issues and disease more quickly.  One study even suggested spending time with positive friends actually changes our outlook for the better when we fall on hard times, friends are there to put things in prospective and help us.  When we have success they  smile at our good fortune.  

According to Aristotle three types of friendships are there.  1) Friendship of utility, 2) Friendship of pleasure and 3) Friendship of the good.

Friendship of utility exist between people  for mere  necessities. They are together  when they are happy and successful.  When things go wrong, they move on to the next happy successful person.This kind of friendship is focused on what one party is able to gain from another. Business partnerships, relationships among co-workers, and class mate  connections are examples. A friendship that is based on utility does not last as long because of selfishness between the friends.

Friendship of pleasure exist between  those who expect pleasure and enjoyment it brings  from one another.  People love another for the pleasure they gain from them. Passionate love affairs and  people  associating with each other due to belonging to the same hobby organisations like Dancing, Badminton, Chess, Cricket, Tennis, Swimming etc., fall into this category. This friendship does not flourish because when one party is no longer useful or pleasant to the other party,  their friendship ends.

Friendship of the good are based on mutual respect and admiration for each other's qualities and a strong will to aid and assist the other person because one recognises their greatness. . They often arises when two people recognise that they have similar values and goals, that they have similar visions for how the world(or atleast their lives) should be. So the friendship based on goodness tend to be long lasting.

In Mahabharat in an Indian Epic, Lord Srikrishna regarded Arjuna as his Best Friend( Sakha) because Arjuna possessed all the qualities of  Divine nature i.e., Fearlessness, charity, self-control, austerity, simplicity, non violence, truthfulness, renunciation, tranquility, compassion, modesty, vigor, forgiveness, freedom from envy and passion for honor etc., , as enumerated in Chapter 16 verses 1 to 3 of Bhagvat Gita. Arjuna's love for all people,  his dedication to Dharma and Public welfare and his great skills in Archery, devoid of conceit(proudness) especially endeared him to Krishna.  Arjuna was pure devotee or Sakhya Bhakta  of Lord  Krishna in the mood of friend. Arjuna exhibited how to maintain close friendship throughout a life time with Lord Krishna. The word soulmates suits them both.

The first two types of friendship are easily broken.  These friendships are driven by one's utility and pleasure.  Particular when benefits are  achieved or a change of common interest, these friendships will most probably fade off. However friendships based on goodness are usually long lasting.

So while making friendship, one has  to come to the conclusion  that it is based on goodness, similar values, common goals and  same interests in life., because friendship is the sweetest in creation and life's greatest treasure. 

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