Friendship is a word we are all familiar with, and most of us assume we have friends. But do we? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, ” the state of being friends: the relationship between friends: a friendly feeling or attitude.” To most people friendship assumes certain rights and privileges. To me a friend is not only a person who has rights in my life. Friends are those who take seriously the duties, obligations and responsibilities of friendship.
Everyone knows that when you are friends with someone they assume certain rights and privileges. For example, my friends can drop in without an appointment, phone me late at night, ask for some cash until payday, and expect to be invited to my celebratory parties. They assume I will give them a lift when their car is broken, babysit their kids, and listen to the updates of their love life or lack of it. They can open my fridge and make a snack and offer me a cup of coffee in my own kitchen. When they are sad or guilty and share their secrets with me. To the degree, I allow this so I am considered a good friend.
But these privileges carry with them reciprocal obligations. You, as my friend, must return the favors. When I arrive with my kids you need to welcome me and them, not hide under the bed, or a flood of excuses. You are obliged to give me a lift to fetch my car, fill up my empty wallet, and drink coffee that I make you in your kitchen. And do not hide your left overs when I rummage in your kitchen for a snack.
Then we need to look at the two words that make up the word friendship. It has been said that it is two men in one boat. Now that is where duty comes in. Two men in a boat does not mean one rows the boat, while the other lies in the sun tanning and sipping Coke, Pepsi or Buds. They both need to row the boat. This means they have equal responsibility to make time in busy schedules to get together. When the one is repeating again how his wife left him and took his dog for the hundredth time you have to show sympathy, even if you are glad the dog no longer visits and chews your new couch. It is duty that undergirds the rights and privileges.
Friendship comes with responsibilities too. When he is pouring out his heart to you then you must listen. What he tells you in confidence must remain with you. You are responsible to give him advice rebuke and correction. And above all, when he does not heed it and falls, you have the responsibility to stand with him, in his failure, disgrace, and shame. To identify with him, comfort and encourage him, and help him get up. And in the end to simply forgive and love him.
Webster’s refers to friendship as a “friendly feeling or attitude.”
I have a friendly feeling and attitude towards my dog, but we aren’t friends. Likewise, I have the same friendly feeling towards the waitress at the local restaurant, but I do not even know her surname. I know I have nine friends, and consider myself rich because of them. Each one is a rare treasure.
Tips for writing this definition essay:
- In your intro, give a dictionary definition of the word.
- Then give your definition, which should be the basis of your thesis statement.
- Now elaborate on your own definition.
- You can separate your different parts into separate paragraphs. In each paragraph, make a different point. You can use a variety of means to round out your definition.
- When you have finished make a summary of your points. Here you can tell what your definition has meant to you, and how it has affected your life. Ensure this supports your essay.