Relationships…… by this I really don’t mean just the boy-girl thing. It covers a wide aspect of social relationships. However, I would state that no matter what kind of relationship you have it falls under the category of a friendship and this post would consider friends as it was originally defined to mean.
Firstly, I just need to state for the record my stand when it comes to relationships. Since, I believe that relationships are merely a social construct like religion. It was created to provide comfort to humans, which I would argue is important for the existence of mankind. However, the mere existence of relationships would not contribute positively towards this goal just like merely creating a religion for example worshiping a flying sauce that does not serve the purpose religion was socially fabricated to achieve. Hence, we must all decide on what kind of relationships we form and there lies the rub!!
The origins of this word is quite interesting. A friend is a lover, literally. The relationship between Latin amīcus “friend” and amō “I love” is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos “friend” and phileō “I love.”
In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb related to friend. At that time, frēond, the Old English word for “friend,” was simply the present participle of the verb frēon, “to love.” The Germanic root behind this verb is *frī–, which meant “to like, love, be friendly to.”
Interesting enough friend = to someone who loves you. Leaving aside the different versions of love. The essence of friendship is love. It is quite strange since most of us do not love all our friends. Some of them are merely are college friends i.e. faculty friends, hall friends or module friends. We do not know them well enough to really called the feelings we share with them love yet they are friends.
Even if we do have a few friends then what purpose do friends serve in our lives. Most people have friends and hence there must be some rationale for having friends. Firstly, as I stated earlier this concept of friendship is merely a social construct like religion and other institutionalized forms to act as a comforter for humans. Humans are by its very nature, a social animal who needs others to survive and to makes its own life worthwhile. Some are weaker than others, yet end of day everyone needs someone to talk to about their problems and accomplishments, advise them, approve their actions and say ‘its ok’ when they fail. Religion gives humans hope that life has some meaning and it is not just a mere existence without any meaning, friends are the ones who constantly remind you and me of this (meaning of life) and keep us on track.
Secondly, the people who have friends know how exciting and rewarding it can be. But the problem with friends is that they are end of the day ‘human’. Therefore, simple physics would tell you that human change and therefore someone we once called a friend can now be your bf/gf, husband/wife or even your enemy. So why do we put so much faith on someone who might just as well turn around and stab you tmrw. Specially, given that they know you well enough that they know where it hurts you the most. The only reason I can come up is faith and hope. Humans have always relied on these nouns and most people’s lives rotate around these. People trust and have faith in other humans that they would be good friends and they would be there in sickness and in health since living the rest of their lives without anyone would scary to even imagine. It is like religion where its better to have faith and hope that there is a God rather than living one’s life feeling that there is no meaning to one’s existence. Therefore, this fear drives us to seek relationships with other humans. End of the day, self-preservation is the ultimate goal of humans and friends act as means to this end. We have friends because it makes us happy and our existence worthwhile and if each of us are following what makes us happy when do we stop and consider the happiness of ‘our friends’.
I am not saying that friends are not worth having. Personally, I have only 3 ‘friends’ (my grandma, my ex and a college friend). Surprising, that is enough for me as I was never the person that depended on others and putting so much trust and confidence on another human is as scary to me as spending the rest of my life alone.