Friendship is a form of virtue and it is also essential for living. Nobody would choose to live without friendship even if he had all the other good things in life. The traditional idea of Friendship as suggested by Aristotle 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.’ He made a distinction between what he believes to be genuine friendships and other forms of friendship based on mutual usefulness or on pleasure. The latter two forms of friendships last only for as long as there is utility and pleasure involved, whereas genuine friendship is eternal.
- Friendship based on utility: Utility is not permanent; it changes according to time and circumstances. Since that was what kept the friendship alive in the first place, with its disappearance, the friendship also breaks up due to the lack of grounds. These kinds of friendships seem to occur mostly with people pursuing their own advantages. They take pleasure in each other’s company only in so far as they have hopes of advantage from it. Friendships with foreigners are generally included in this class.
- Friendship based on pleasure: Young people’s lives are regulated by their feelings and most friendships at young ages are grounded on pleasure. The chief interest of the young are in their own pleasure and the opportunity of the moment. With time their tastes and preferences changes and so they are quick in making and breaking friendships too. Because their affection changes just as the objects of their pleasure, they fall in and out of friendship quickly, changing their attitude sometimes even within the same day.
- Perfect friendship: This type of friendship is based on goodness. Only the friendship of those people, who are good and similar in their goodness, is perfect. And it is those who desire the good of their friends for the friends’ sake and not for any incidental quality that are really true friends. Since goodness is an enduring quality friendship of this kind is permanent. In this kind of friendship people are united in all the attributes that friends ought to possess. Aristotle further added on genuine friendship that, ‘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.’
The last kind of friendships is rare and we should be grateful we have that kind of friendship. Our friends are precious and we should let them know they are appreciated and well loved. And on the occasion of Friendship Day we can share our love and affections with them by spending quality time together. We could also buy Friendship Day gifts and exchange them with our friends in the spirit of the occasion. And nowadays finding the right gifts is a simple task as a number of internet gifts store provides a plethora of Friendship Day gifts online. Even if we stay far we can still order the Friendship Day gifts online and have them delivered direct to our friends.