Navigating the intricate maze of human relationships, I often find solace in the wisdom of great thinkers from the past. Aristotle’s categorization of friendships into utility-based, pleasure-based, and character-based has always resonated with me, offering a mirror to my own experiences.
1. Utility-based Friendship: The Transactional Bond
While many of us might have had friends based on mutual benefits at some point in our lives, such relationships often lack the emotional depth we yearn for. They can be more like business partnerships, dissolving when the shared benefits end. There’s a certain hollowness in them that sometimes accentuates the feeling of isolation.
2. Pleasure-based Friendship: The Joys of Shared Interests
These friendships, formed around shared activities or hobbies, bring a lot of joy. We all have those friends with whom we’ve shared a laugh at a comedy show or celebrated a team’s victory. But as time passes and interests evolve, these friendships can sometimes fade.
3. Character-based Friendship: Beyond the Surface
This brings me to my cherished friendship with Amir Choroomi. Our bond exemplifies Aristotle’s character-based friendship. With Amir, there was never an undercurrent of expectation, yet we frequently went the extra mile for each other, no strings attached. The times we’ve spent together have often felt timeless, much like a child engrossed in play, with hours slipping away unnoticed.
What drew me to Amir wasn’t any tangible benefit of our friendship; rather, it was the essence of who he truly is. Sometimes, I wonder how our paths aligned to foster such a deep connection. I consider myself blessed to have such an exceptional individual in my life. This tier of friendship is steeped in mutual trust and joy, creating a bond that’s resilient and unwavering. Even today, with Amir in London and me in Canada, the distance of miles and years since our last face-to-face meeting hasn’t diminished our bond. Six years on, our conversations, be it over the phone or video calls, still carry the same warmth and sincerity.
Friendship and Beyond
Drawing parallels between friendships and marriage might seem unusual, but there’s an undeniable connection. Just like in a true friendship, a successful marriage thrives on mutual respect, trust, and an understanding of each other’s core values. And as with Amir, I believe that the best marital bonds, like the most profound friendships, are rooted in cherishing someone for who they truly are, beyond any fleeting benefits or shared experiences.
Aristotle’s wisdom, combined with my own experiences, emphasizes that while friendships of utility or pleasure have their place, it’s the friendships rooted in character that truly stand the test of time. These bonds, built on mutual admiration and shared values, enrich our lives, making our journeys all the more fulfilling.