Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines and Friends

Don't you hate it when the weatherman keeps his bad weather promises? He promised us a blizzard with whiteouts, and the snow began a few hours ago. On the bright side, I have a good excuse to stay inside and blog, make the card at left, read, and think about Valentines Day.
Valentines Day belongs to romantic love, and much has been written, sung and cried over it, so I thought I'd turn my attention to the love involved in friendship.
The 10th edition of Merriam Webster's dictionary defines "friendship" as, "the state of being friends." (To think that in school, I was taught not to use the word I'm defining in it's definition!) The definition of "friend", same source; "one attached to another by affection or esteem."Those are the first meanings.
"One who is not hostile", is a further definition. That seems an understatement! How impassive and cold definitions are. But then, they're only basic tools for reaching an understanding of all that friendship involves.
" affection." Affection involves some kind of love, and love is definitely not impassive or cold! But what kind of love?The phrase, "disinterested friendship" pops into my mind. At first, "disinterested" seems a rather cold term, but it's actually just the opposite.
It's very demanding to be a disinterested friend, because it means that one is not looking for anything in return. A disinterested friend doesn't treat others like stepping stones on the way to fame, fortune, an "in" with the boss, a free trip to Tahiti or the gaining of any advantage whatsoever, including flattery.
Disinterested means I'm always, always, myself, warts and all, because true friends help each other to see and smooth the rough spots in themselves, and if one is hiding behind a mask, that is not possible.
Disinterested friendship means I'm here to help, to listen, to give, not to get. There will be times when friendship demands more of me than it does of my friend, and there will be times when she will be the more giving in the relationship. We will not count up these times to determine who gives more, because we know that it's impossible to even things out, as if we were children making sure that each gets the same number of cookies for dessert. God is the true accountant of our giving. His math is better than ours, because he invented it!
The French writer, Antoine de St-Exupéry, said in one of his novels that when someone dies, a whole universe dies with him. I agree, and exploring the universe of each of my friends is the most fascinating adventure I can have.
Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!


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