The meaning of friendship may have different meanings from people to people. It is different because I believe it does not have a universal and similar understanding in everyone's heads. People prioritise one thing over the other. For example: A friend is someone who will always be there for you, if not, then he/she is not a good friend, etc etc. Now a days friendship has become even more difficult and complicated. For example: Friends sleep together, etc etc. Okay Okay, I am not being biased here, take it easy. It is just an example. Whatever is right for you is right for you, whatever is right for me is right for me.
In 1996 Graham Allan said that there is a lack of firmly agreed and socially acknowledged criteria for what makes a friend and in one setting we make describe someone as a friend but in another, the label may seem less appropriate. This is true isnt it?
Aristotle, suggest that the traditional idea of friendship has three components:
'Friends must enjoy each other's company, they must be useful to one another, and they must share a common commitment to the good'.
It usually happens that the first two components of this statement hold true, what goes wrong or is difficult is the third component : Sharing a common commitment to the good.
In today's world it is easy to understand the components of usefulness and pleasure but we have difficulty seeing the point of considering friendship in terms of common moral commitments.
In my opinion, what I think is that the word "friend" or "friendship" is used very casually and easily. A friend is indeed difficult to find now a days. I may have plenty of friends, but out of everyone there is probably one or two people who are actually a REAL friend - who behaves as a friend.
"And it is those who desire the good of their friends for the friends’ sake that are most truly friends, because each loves the other for what he is, and not for any incidental quality."
Once you get to know the person and his/her morals, it make it easily to determine if the person will be a good friend or not - a pretty much good assumption.
People go around claiming themselves as friends and not even acting as one. Before I used to be heart broken by the way people behaved, back in my school life. Now that I actually understand some patterns of behaviour- I dont really feel bad about it. From experience, I have learnt to make some approximate predictions.
I am not saying that I am a perfect friend either. I have my flaws as well. However, I am learning. I have taken it into account.
If you are not intending to be my friend, then dont call yourself a friend and act like one, please! because I believe in true friendship - not of becoming a friend and getting in bed with you or backbite about other people or let you hurt me.
"To perceive a friend , therefore, is necessarily in a manner to perceive oneself, and to know a friend is in a manner to know oneself. The excellent person is related to his friend in the same way as he is related to himself, since a friend is another himself."