Essay, Research Paper: Friendship And God

Religion

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Human beings are social creatures. They strive for companionship with others.
Although there are some people that might find pleasure in solitude, it seems
clear that the majority of people do seek companionship if possible. Central
among these companionships are friendships. For some people, this is what makes
life worthwhile, the presence of friends. Friendship is a sort of goodness, or
at the least implies it. When taking a closer, more specific look at this kind
of relationship, one is not only able to create connotations for the word, but
are also able to experience the true advantages gained through the virtue of
friendship. Friendship in essence is what really measures a good person. With
friendship one is not following laws, one is naturally giving and receiving, a
mutual sharing of things in life. Wanting friendship is natural instinct, and
for the most part there is no escaping friendship in some form or another. If
one is involved in community life, marriage, or plainly has a family in general,
friendship will cross the path. Throughout our lives, we get into different
kinds of relationships. Some relationships we cannot choose like family ties.
These are relationships we are born in, and we cannot break them anymore than we
can stop breathing. Even denying their existence does not change the fact that
your mother and father, brother and sister, are who they are. Other
relationships are not forced upon us but we do not have complete control over
them, like who we fall in love with. We do not choose who we want to fall in
love with even though we do choose the situations that makes it possible for the
feelings to appear. The third kind of relationships are friendships. Friendships
are one of the most important kinds of relationships you can be involved in. One
reason for this is that you can choose your friend, unlike your family. But what
kind of friend you are, depends on your character. Friendships bring out the
best in us, and a person without friends has serious difficulty accomplishing
that feat. Most of us tend to consider many people friends, even if they are not
close and do not spend much time with them. Examples of these might be
colleagues, fellow students, neighbors and even your mailman. They might not be
close friends, but they are friends in some sense of the word. Although they are
friends that are here today and gone tomorrow, they are important because they
are your connection to the rest of the world. Sometimes there is an inequality,
and a way of balance must be found. Just as money differs on various kinds of
products, qualifications and contributions differ in most friendships. True
Friends share more than just mutual enjoyment of each other’s company. Only
someone true to their own self can become a true friend. The reason for that is
only the true individual will seek out the ultimate good, and among the goods,
there is that friend. One cannot be self-sufficient without a friend because
that element or bond of friendship provides strengths in the areas of weakness,
while same goes for the other person in the relationship. In true friendships,
people see the reflection of themselves as well, and they discover new sides
within themselves that they would not otherwise be able to find. The friend
becomes an extension of that person. Having true friends is the foundation for
building connections in life. For many, the way to the world is through their
friends. Through friendships people are introduced to new people, and as that
new friendship grows the same process occurs again. Gathering a circle of close
friends and continuing to allow that circle to grow can leads us to the entire
world. In order for people to be good friends they must have love for
themselves. For ages there have been people who have struggled over the puzzle
about whether one ought to love oneself or someone else most of all. Those who
love everybody but themselves will end up loving nobody, but those who love
themselves and no one else will shun their fellow man and in turn receive little
love from others. Only friends can help you distribute the love you have for the
world and for yourself. For example, when I first entered high school I had
decided that my few friends and I were the only normal people there. I wasted
two years of high school sitting at the lunch table everyday, complaining about
everyone there and how much I disliked the whole atmosphere. Once I opened my
mind and decided to accept other people’s views and style’s, I was able to
make a few key friendships which enabled me to eventually befriend numerous
people. It was through this experience that I was first truly able to reap some
of the many rewards of friendship. The true friend does what is best for the
long term when it comes to a friendship. This often leads to a pay-off for the
two. In friendship, one is cultivating a good relationship for oneself, but he
is also promoting his friend. Through that friendship, one has to deal with many
other people that are in some ways related to his friend. Knowing that his
friend might be hurt if something would happen to them, it would be in his
self-interest to promote their happiness too. It is in this sense that we can
reach the world through our connections. Human nature is generally good and is
the indicator of how we should act. Since human nature seems to promote
relationships, it is clear that friendships are the best kind of relationships.
In order to have a healthy friendship, one must be able to give as well as
receive. “If you wish good things in this way, but the same is not returned by
the other, you would be said to have [only] goodwill for the other. For
friendship is said to be reciprocated goodwill” a quote from the great
philosopher, Aristotle. When entering a friendship one hopes for the best, in
that something productive is being made. Even though it is proven that
friendship can only grow into a truly close friendship over time, it does not
mean that young people are incapable of experiencing it. There are friendships
among young people that go beyond pleasure. They have all the characteristics of
true lifelong friendship without the participants being old men. At the same
time, there are many that claim that only a select few are capable of true
friendships, in reality everyone with an open mind is capable of any friendship.
Since friendship is a matter of meeting the right person, and being interested
enough to develop the relationship into a friendship, many might be blind to
potential friendships. True friends find they have similar types of values. It
is hard to imagine being friends with someone who does not share similar values.
I am not thinking about values like, what color or car brand you prefer, but
rather moral values that are the basis for who you are. It seems plausible that
a Serb and Albanian could not be friends, even if they shared the same hobbies.
Their religious values would be too different to sustain the friendship. In the
same way, many people are unable to befriend those who compulsively lie. Without
the factor of trust in a relationship it is destined to one-day end. There seems
to be many people in our lives, that we do favors for and who do favors for us,
without anyone calling it a friendship. These people are incomplete friends. Man
is a social animal and it’s our nature to enjoy being with others. Friendship
is the stronghold for community, family, and married life. In all times of life
most people need friends. The young need to be shown what to do, and the old
need to be cared for. Friendship is a virtue. In order to be happy, one needs,
sufficient external goods, health, opportunity to practice and actual practice
of moral values (such as courage, justice, and generosity), opportunity to
practice and actual practice of intellectual values (such as science and
reasoning), friends, and good luck. Even the self-sufficient man needs friends
to be generous to. He also needs sufficient external goods to exercise his
generosity. Those who have only enough or less than enough are unable to give to
their friends. Finally, we need friends to practice thinking and acting. We can
think by ourselves, but conversation with friends increases our learning.
Friendship also binds citizens together in the community. Where there is
friendship, there is no need to enforce action through justice. Nothing can
teach the art of goodness more than that of friendship. Without friends to share
the good and the bad, I think life would lose its luster. How could a good man
be good without friends? To not have friends would mean to live off in the woods
all alone like a hermit. This could not be a well-rounded person, one who would
not be a productive contributor to society and choose to hide alone and live a
secluded life. If one considers oneself to be of any worth, he should want to
share his worth and the gifts God gave them with others. All in all, to be true
oneself, that person needs self-love. When that is accomplished and one fully
knows oneself, he/she can take part in friendship knowing that it is not only
good for them, but for others as well. Two kinds of self-love exist. One
includes yourself, and one includes others. To realize your own best interest
and mold them together with the welfare of others is actualizing one’s ideal
self. Friendship is sharing in the search for truth and good with one and
others. The people who get the most out of friendship want to share their dreams
and aspirations in life with their friends as well as grow and mature with them.
By way of true friendship with others, good people uncover happiness that in
turn adds to their own goodness.
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