The term friendship is defined as the relationship existing between two or more individuals who are connected through mutual affection to each other. It originates from the word friend. A friend, therefore, is said to be a person who is known very well to another and is usually associated to through loyalty, intimacy, liking or affection. Marion Wink, in his book Lunch box chronicles, wrote an essay outlining the benefits accruing out of friendship. The essay is titled ‘what are friends for’ and employs the usage of different stylistic devices to outline the benefits that an individual gets out of friendship. Based on Marion’s essay titled ‘what are friends for’ in his book Lunch Box Chronicles, this paper examines the three major benefits that an individual can get out of friendship.
In order to analyze the various benefits that accrue out of friendship, it is important to identify the various categories of friendships existing within our societies. Marion identifies these categories of friendship and in a humorous manner analyzes them to bring out their benefits. In his analysis, he outlines the many functionalities of friendship that play an important role of filling the emptiness in any person. Either, his essay begins by the formulation of the notion that no single individual can completely fill the void in terms of satisfying the needs of that same individual thereby developing an argument that people need friends. This goes on and espouses itself in a number of people within the story as their actions have elements otherwise found in our lives that do meet our individual needs. The three major benefits that an individual can get out of friendships includes the benefits of companionship, benefits accruing through sharing of ideas and the new skills we might learn from the friends we have.
The above mentioned benefits can be obtained from the various types of friendships as identified by Marion Wink’s essay and is as discussed here in. There is the friend considered to be down to earth. This type of friend is less common within any individual society. They do provide us with company in many instances. Prior arrangements are usually done in order to engage in any social activity. People tend to value the art of socialization as they get the kind of companionship they yearn for. Down to earth friends will always be willing to relate with their friends thus providing the company needed across the social strata without any prejudicial judgment or attitude. The company thus makes people contented and satisfied as they will feel appreciated and valued within the same society they exist in.
There is also the group of friends considered to be cooler than us. In many instances when we do associate with people of different class, some level of discomfort occur more especially if we find out that the people around us are more superior in terms of skills and ability or inferior in terms of competence as compared to ours. Friends considered to be cooler than us are people more informed on matters of social life within the society. They have the knowledge of the latest trends within and would be quick at making us aware of them. These type of friends inspire us through the various ideas we share with them. This makes people get out of their comfort zone and explore the world around them while they are still young and alive. The shared ideas help in sharpening of our skills.
Another group of friends consist of those who do not know about the friends we have. These are the people that we have a professional relationship with. They are friends from work places. Theses friends in most cases are not aware of our social friends like the cooler that us friends. The more we engage with them on a professional level the more we learn news skills that we would have otherwise not pursued had we been alone. Through interactions with these types of friends, we learn to invest or save some part of our revenue that we would have wasted on none priority things. Another skill that we can learn from these types of friends is that of appreciating academic advancements. Through the professional challenge they offer us at the work place, majority would decide to advance their education based on the benefits that these friend’s advanced education brings them in terms of remuneration and promotions.
The friends we have known for a very long time also play a key role in our lives. We adduce different benefits from such friends through our association with them. We tend to share ideas on how to progress in life and become successful people since we share with them a common history as we grew together and understand the weaknesses and strengths of each other. Even though we might not spend time together quite often, whenever we meet such friends it feels good and it helps in the rejuvenation of our past bringing memories back. The ideas that we share can make us change the manner in which we do things in our lives. We will most likely learn from their experiences both the good and bad experiences so that we do not fall into the troubles they might have faced.
The people we admire due to their unique qualities that stand out compared to others also play a major role in our lives. We might be on the same level in terms of education or career advancement but they have some special qualities in them that inspire us in life. They have achieved an edge in life and therefore act as role models to the rest within the social circles. Being around such friends challenges our brains to get more engaged and think constructively so as to help us too achieve an edge in life. Through such engagements, we rediscover ourselves through learning of new ways in terms of skills from otherwise these successful friends of ours. We would most likely acquire skills like active communication and constructive negotiations that will enable us become successful in our endeavors.
Other than the benefits individuals find out of friendship as enumerated by Marion Wink’s essay, there are other benefits that are obtained from friendship that are not enumerated in Marion’s work. When we hang out with our friends, we usually learn on how to open up and share with them on our fears, expectation, desires and wishes. Either, when we stop hanging out with them, we tend to retreat back to our areas of comfort. We therefore lose track with the benefits that comes with sharing as we will not be participating in it. Therefore, by constantly interacting with our friends we tend to keep on with the practice of communication.
Even though there are numerous arguments on the positive benefits of friendship, it is not mandatory that only positive benefits will arise out of friendship. Instances occur where friendships have to be terminated as the end results of such friendships have proven to be disastrous or injurious to the parties involved. Our former friends offer such examples of the people we terminated our relationship with. The severed links are either due to the heinous and evil acts that they did to us or introduced us to that landed us in the wrong side of the law and inflicted harm on us. Acts such as drug addiction and burglary are some of the behaviors that we learn from the friends that we associate with. These acts in most cases land us in troubles that eventually see us rot in jail as a punishment for the actions we did. The experience that we go through as a result of these associations makes us more informed and conscious when it comes to the choice of friends. Either, there are those friends that steal from us or forge our signature and other verification symbols to still from the people close to us or those we partner with in our endeavors.
Occasionally, we tend to develop new friends as time goes by. Such friendships arise from the areas we visit such as attending parties, at a conference or a place that is different from our normal area of socialization. Such people become our friends on the basis of our first encounter and contact with them when we suddenly realize that we have several things in common. We hurriedly strike discussions on the dimensions on our lives with these new friends in a bid to learn one or two new things from them. These friends appear appealing and sympathetic concerning the predicaments that we might be in. and offer to assist in finding solutions to the many problems that we face within the society. These people end up hoodwinking us into activities that are disastrous to us and the society at large. They can either offer to assist us find jobs while in the real sense they want to snatch a portion of the salary attached to us. The shortcoming of such a friendship is that the opinions and principles of such individuals will prove difficult to know.
In conclusion, therefore, the many significant and ethical benefits that come as a result of having friends are varied. The core benefits being the realization of the benefits accruing out of the company we get from friends. Either, through sharing of ideas we learn a lot from our friends. The learned skills help us implement certain changes in the manner in which we operate. As much as there are a number of benefits arising from friendship, there are also ills that exist. Therefore, one should strive to sieve through his friends as encouraged by the works of Marion, to evaluate whether he or she adduces any benefit from such association and strives to avoid ills arising from them too.