“A friend in need is a friend in deed.” This well known quote can best define the aspect of friendship. It is almost impossible to give a specific definition of friendship since it is defined by values and like most relationships it is mainly based on intimacy between two parties. Aristotle defined friendship as one soul existing in two bodies signifying that for true friendship there must be mutual understanding, love and compassion.
Friendship can be best defined by the interactions that exist between two parties. In order for a friendship to exist, the two parties must demonstrate first and foremost a willingness to ensure that only the best occurs to their counterpart. Another important aspect of friendship is that there should be mutual understanding and compassion as the Greek philosopher, Epicurus, once wrote “It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us.”
For a relationship to be termed as a friendship, honesty is an important factor. The honesty that defines a friendship should be that which one is able to point out the faults of the other party even though it may be hard. Cicero, a Roman philosopher, believed that for a true friendship to exist; honesty, trust and truth where of the utmost importance. He also believed that in order for friendship to exist, the parties should also act for the best interest of each other and should never act in order to receive any form of repayment.
A friendship usually develop when two parties usually with common interest meet and interact on a regular basis and acting according to the aforementioned aspects that defines a friendship. Friendships are usually hard to form as most people are reserved and meeting people with common interest may be difficult.
Friendships between two individuals can also be defined in terms of love. Two types of love usually exist, platonic and romantic love. Platonic love is that relationship or friendship that does not involve sexual activities while romantic love is a type of friendship between two people and is mainly defined by sexual interactions.
Friendships are not confined to human beings as also nations may form friendships between each other. In this sense, two nation form relationships that serve to the best interest of each other that includes enhancing trade relationships, providing mutual protection and providing help when necessary, financial or otherwise.
Friendships form the basis of most relationships and have been attributed to good physical and mental health. Good friendships not only ensure that an individual is happy but also provides mental stability and general well-being. Good friendships are usually based on a supportive system that ensures that the individuals are there when needed, provide sound advice and provides a shoulder to lean on when one is in need.
Various cultures define friendships in different way, in the western world, many rules define friendships and due to the fact that most relationships have been sexualized sharing of emotions between two friends especially males is considered a taboo. In the eastern world friendships are usually reserved and emotions are mainly repressed.
In Africa, relationships usually form the basis of life and friendships are respected and usually intense. It is common for friends to leave the care of their families to each other when one is not around.
Friendship is one of the hardest terms to define as usually most friendships may take different form. The essence of friendship lies in trust, mutual understanding and honesty but some friendships may exist without any of the above aspects. Some friendships are formed solely for the purpose of mutual benefits an example is the relationships between two criminals. Most of these parties do not trust each other but coexist with each other in order to finish a given activity.