Bonds in Genuine Friendship- Nurturing Lasting bonds

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The saying, “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” encapsulates the profound nature of true friendship. Beyond the mere passing of time together, friendship is a blend of affection, loyalty, love, respect, and trust. In Nigeria, as elsewhere, true friendship stands out as a valuable treasure, marked by shared interests, mutual respect, and enduring connections.

Genuine Friendship

Unveiling the True Essence

Value of True Friendship: Aristotle’s wisdom echoes through time, claiming that ‘close friends share salt.’ This metaphor emphasizes the essence of sharing life’s journey, creating a profound connection. Dr. Lickerman outlines specific qualities characterizing true friendship that are worth exploring.

Qualities of True Friendship

1. Relationship Foundations: Understanding a friend is pivotal in claiming a true friendship. Mere labels like “good friend” fall short unless time is invested in comprehending the nuances of each other’s lives.

2. Time Investment: True friendships evolve over time, requiring shared experiences and moments to foster mutual growth.

3. Essential Trust: Trust forms the bedrock of genuine friendship, allowing the sharing of life’s deepest secrets without fear of betrayal.

4. Faithfulness and Loyalty: Keys to a lasting friendship, these qualities eliminate negativity, backbiting, and turning away. St. Thomas Aquinas emphasizes the irreplaceable value of a true friend.

Characteristics of True Friendship

a. Critique with Love: A true friend addresses flaws privately, offering love, acceptance, and appreciation even in moments of weakness.

b. Encouragement: Genuine friends support your pursuit of what is right, discouraging negative influences that hinder personal growth.

c. Steadfast Support: During rough times, a true friend stands by, not just in good times but especially during challenges, offering selfless support.

d. Genuine Affection: Avoid friends who pretend to love you only to criticize you behind your back. True friends stand by you in both good and challenging times.

e. Mutual Giving: A balanced friendship involves mutual giving and receiving. If a friend consistently takes without reciprocating, it might be time to reassess the relationship.

The Culmination of True Friendship

Seminary Reflection:

Recognizing that seminary life is transient, the article concludes with Aristotle’s three types of friendships—utility, pleasure, and virtuous. It encourages readers to choose friends wisely, emphasizing the responsibility of nurturing true friendships rather than exploiting opportunities.

Conclusion:

True friendship is not merely a convenient arrangement but a profound connection built on trust, loyalty, and shared experiences. In a world where relationships come and go, the choice of a true friend becomes a significant aspect of life’s journey.

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