David Brooks says that if the super-successful alpha-male types (Spitzer, e.g.) had true friends, they might not screw up as much. But what’s a true friend?
Maybe they’d be O.K. if somewhere along the way they’d had true friends, defined as a group of people who share a mutual inability to take each other seriously.
6 comments on “The Definition of True Friends”
Amusing. But my definition of friendship comes from Hamlet.
I’ve never really thought of it that way, but it’s a very good point.
Interesting. Thanks for the link. It verbalises an inchoate impression I had back when I was single and dating a few ‘older, successful’ businessmen. There was something repulsive about them that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, some weird mixture of preening arrogance & off-putting desperation & this sense that they were sexually deviant in ways I didn’t want to know about. Sent me running back to my own age cohort!
I would agree with Jude. Focusing on one aspect of friendship in Hamlet, I’d say above all, true friendship requires charity.
It may be that ordinary humans find it hard to dig into themselves to find charity for their super-successful alpha male and female acquaintances. Which is why the latter have rarely any true friends?
Reminds me of that old expression, “Want a friend? Be a friend.”
In a post from your blog, i read the other day the notes from a Q&A session with Warren Buffet:
I loved this quote:
<< I know a woman in her 80’s, a Polish Jew woman forced into a concentration camp with her family but not all of them came out. She says, “I am slow to make friends because when I look at people, I have one question in mind; would they hide me?” >>
A friend is someone who would hide you …