The Nature of Friendship
A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.
〜 Douglas Pagels
I have been pondering the nature of friendship lately. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I have been thinking about it a lot, so I decided to blog it in the hope that maybe that would sort my ideas out a little!
Without friends, no-one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.
〜 Aristotle (384B.C. – 322B.C.)
The thing that I am pondering is this: Are online friendships as valid as ‘real-life’ ones? Can you ever really know someone if you have only ever met via a computer monitor? Are virtual friendships real?
Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.
〜 John Evelyn
The answer to all the above questions, I have concluded, is yes. Obviously I love and care about my real-life friends. That goes without saying. But I love and care about some of my online friends, too. Some of the people that I have met through the wonders of the internet are as special to me as any friends that I have elsewhere. Of course, you have to be more careful, more selective, when you can’t see the person on the other end of the conversation. But, in my opinion, as long as you are fairly perceptive and keep your wits about you, there is no reason that real friendships cannot blossom online.
In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
〜 Albert Schweitzer
I know that there are people that I have never met face-to-face, that I would do absolutely anything for. That I would lay myself on the line for. That I would go to the ends of the Earth for if they were in trouble and needed me. Yes, they are a select few of the many, many friends and acquaintances that I have made in my last few years online – but they are as real as either of the BFFs who live in my town. And let’s face it: How many of us have been hurt by real-life people that we have known for years, that we trusted, that we loved? People are capable of hurting each other regardless of location or communication medium. Often, I find it is those people that I have only ever talked to online, who are the first – or even the only ones – to offer congratulations or commiserations on life’s great events. In fact, sometimes they are the only ones to do so…those that are close physically may not be the ones who are close emotionally.
One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.
〜 Euripides (408B.C.)
It is my belief that friendship can cross boundaries, countries and continents. You can’t be friends with everyone, but when you find someone you really connect with, don’t dismiss them because they happen to be on the wrong end of a broadband connection. All true friends, regardless of where they may be, should be celebrated, cherished and loved.
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
〜 Diana Cortes