Aphorism #10

Friends or enemies?

“Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies.”

Voltaire (1694-1778)

Here we are again… Nothing is guaranteed in life, and even the closest of friends can become the worst of enemies. The problem is that we often do not know our friends as well as we imagine. Ingratitude has a long and well-known history. The more favors we supply to strengthen the friendship, the less gratitude we might receive. It is generally better not to mix work with friendship.  We might discover unpleasant qualities.

On the other hand, an enemy sharpens our wits, keeping us focused and alert. We must try to cooperate with our enemies, and learn to work with them if they are skilled and competent. We can turn around an enemy and make a friend of him if we find mutual interests.

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13 thoughts on “Aphorism #10

  1. If a friend becomes your enemy for any reason, then he/she was not your friend in the first place. Maybe you no longer can fulfill his/her interest therefore you are no longer needed.

  2. Hiya, I’ve read your blog and I love the snow falling. Down here we are so cold that even the snow said no way…. it is letting off a bit for one, uno,egy day. Tell me about betrayal. This dog of mine, my best friend, mind you, is only interested in his food, the sea, and a good bone and now he has taken an interest in my hair band. And on top of it when I am trying to do some networking on the computer he is a becoming a pain in the …… Seriously, friends are the reflection of part lof ourselves that we have denied/love/enjoy …… fill inthe blanks. Mutually. I only have had one friend, but she is truly gorgeous, wonderful and is sooo interesting, and after 27 years apart we grew and developed independetly, separately being interested in the same things and when we last met she said,” Ildi, I can see us getting old two old single bidies, sharing a house living together like sisters”…. But that is rare….But I think the transient friends are also a significant part of the journey. The “danger” is that we project it out and it comes back as a friend, or enemy, so be careful what you project. #But yes, if you are strong,capable and wonderful you attract like hell anything and anybody, but be careful what you want because it wants you!
    Anyway, John says, friendship is a union of democratic trust between two or more people, liberty,fretarnity and egality, (he is nice isn’t he?). Betrayel is,he says,bringing you down,

  3. Yes Steve and Ildi, the question is that is there a friendship without any mutual interest? I hope the answer is yes. Who knows? In reality mutual interests might dominate the friendship and not trust and egality. In that case changing interests can make best friends your worst enemies.

  4. There is no friendship without being mutually interested in the other. Wanting to help him is kind of an interest. If the interest is only about gaining something from the other, without returning anything, is a one sided interest and not mistaken as a friendship. Sometimes it is really difficult to discover if this is the case.

  5. I agree with you Steve. A friendship without any self interest is rare. However it does exist.
    Mutual trust, support, encouragement and being there in difficult times are particularly important. In addition, friendships formed early in life are stronger and unconditional enduring hardship and changing circumstanses.

  6. I agree with you. The reason could be that children are less tamed, therefore interest does not really play a role at that age. Friendships at that age come from within, based on feelings. Society later on “educates” people so the meaning of honest friendship is deteriorated.

  7. Well, it looks to me that later in our life when we are established and ahead with our carrier, the chance to build sincere friendships is remote. Interest, selfishness, networking and greed take priority in our human relations thanks to society. Why does it need to be this way?

  8. I fully agree with you about friendships being “remote”. In the age of internet, people try to make friendships through the net. How deep and honest this type of friendship can become? I doubt both: deep and honest. But the interest in, and popularity of Facebook proves, that there is a need in people to belong to a community. Even the naming Friend, in Facebook, which only relates to someone you know, is misleading and decreases the real meaning of the word.
    In daily life, people are so engaged and overwhelmed with tasks at work and at home, that they simply have no time to care about friends. But real friendship does need time and attention. It is something like getting married. Once you get married, you no longer can spend as much time with friends as before. This obviously leeds to loosing some (or all) of them.

  9. Steve, you brought up two very important points. First, the internet. I am afraid most of the time it makes friendship superficial. It is definitely not honest and deep. Texting, today’s fade detaches teenagers from the real world. Facial expression, body language, the way you speak and your look are totally lost. On Facebook number of “friends” dominates.
    Second, our busy daily life allows not much time to build lasting friendships.
    Sounds like people are getting isolated and lost in society.
    Where are we going? What is our future?

  10. Don’t you think that isolating people is the aim of someone “behind the curtain”. I think this is also part of the “taming” process. The less people are together, the less they will complain about basic things missing. You are tamed to think that money is the only basic thing you need to be “happy”. But you just as well know as me that money is only a little part of the story. People were not created for the sake of being rich. Definitely this is not the real aim of life. False increasing the importance of money draws your attention and time away from friends and personal relations which can cause happiness. I think creating the false image of money being the only way to happiness is the intention of only some in the society and the majority of people are persuaded about it being true. Why? The real intention of these people is to take your money at any price. Just think about Banks and Hypermarkets. Their main aim is not to make you happy, but to find ways to take your money and even make you feel that you made a “great deal”. The real distortion comes when people give up friendships, love, time, just to earn more. Then comes the feeling of being tired, lonesome, unhappy even though you have money. This is what makes you start to think about something being definitely wrong. I think to discuss this in detail takes more then just a few words here on the site. And this is where the importance of personal contact comes into the picture.

  11. Money talks. Money is power. These and other clishes support the public belief that money can buy anything. Well, in the consumer society they employ all sorts of tricks to get your money. The culture promotes the workalcoholic attitude to make more money and of course to spend more money. This is the engine of the economy. Nobody cares you give up quality time to be with your family and friends. Your human relationships weaken and you become isolated.
    However, as we all know, family and friends are much more important than money. Family, friends and good health are your most valuable assets.

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