Friendship is simply the state among two or more persons of being friends. So the logical question, then, is, “What is a friend?”
This is a bit of an emotional question. Merriam Webster defines the word as, “One attached to another by affection or esteem.” Both the affection and esteem are important components, and the word has an emotional connotation indeed.
One normally looks forward to being around a friend. Anticipation of a friend’s companionship produces a feeling of pleasure or euphoria. One often values a friend for frankness, for being able to hold a high opinion of the friend, and by a feeling of warmth for the friend. A friend is important in one’s own life. One wants a friend to remain a friend for life.
A friend generates a greater feeling of attraction than does an acquaintance, who will be a person that one merely knows and associates with casually. One does not particularly care about the company of an acquaintance, and does not attach much personal significance to interactions with such another person. If one has only acquaintances, one is truly alone; if one has a friend, one need not be alone.
I had such a friend toward the end of my senior year of high school and over that summer. I can remember his telling me that I was one of his best friends, and that what he greatly valued in me was my “frankness.”
Sometimes a friendship can evolve into a romantic relationship. One falls in love, is ready to make the partner the most important other adult in his or her life, and start a family.
This is an approximate reconstruction from memory of the “friendship” essay that I handed in as an English theme in freshman English at the College of William and Mary around September 29, 1961. The class was held in Washington Hall. The original theme got a grade of A- (it was the first graded theme of the semester) and was a bit longer and more expansive than this. I do not have the original ink handwritten hardcopy as far as I know (unless I find it someday hidden away in an attic footlocker).
Copyright 1961, 2005 by Bill Boushka. All rights reserved. Please do not use for plagiarism.
I suppose that a “definition theme” like this could make a good SOL (“Standards of Learning”) or Praxis essay question. If so, the student should be prepared to add original details to the ideas presented here.
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