a reply to: intrepid
In a word? No.
Most of my friends do not have full fledged opinions, such as those to be found here on ATS. They have media based awareness, but are unaware of the
need to form a deep understanding of the geopolitical situation, and although they remain aware of local matters (certainly in the case of several of
my friends who work in Her Majesties Revenue and Customs office), their opinions on wider issues are rather two dimensional. That said, I learn a lot
from them on other levels, and they in turn learn from me, the things they would not be exposed to without my input.
In essence, friendship is a measure of how well you can enjoy a persons company, but looking deeper into the phenomenon of companionship, one soon
realises that good friends share data in a symbiotic way, which is why the best and firmest of friendships, often occur between people who, although
sharing a common interest in some areas, are very different in attitude and outlook.
My best friend is a case in point. Where as I spend my internet time looking at the latest deep field images from space telescopes, wagging the chin
about world affairs, thinking about politics, and so on, she likes to spend her time occipital lobe deep in Facebook, chatting to her mates and
checking status updates every thirty two point nine seconds. We both love heavy metal, we both love sci-fi shows, and fantasy stuff, but at the end of
the day, we are very different people, and we enjoy different aspects of life and living. Where as I like to get under the skin, into the marrow of a
subject, she likes to skim across it like a pond skater, occasionally peering beneath the surface, and quickly withdrawing to the Facebook soon after.
Essentially, friendship is about symbiosis of informational interaction. Two people who like to communicate, need not communicate about the exact
same things all the time, in order to appreciate the quality of their interactions. Furthermore, there is more to friendship than the beliefs held by
two parties. Again, my besty is at best an atheist, and at times has been a bit Wiccan, a little bit of a hippy, and God alone knows how many other
branches of philosophy and religion she has involved herself with over the years. However, the fact that I am a Christian has never worried her, and
my faith is not threatened by her lack of a definitive religious affiliation.
Basically, despite the differences between us, she is a stand up pal.
What I do not have, is friends who judge people by any other measure than their actions, and that is more valuable to me than having friends who
share my every interest and political and religious belief. Good souls, that is what counts, and to me, that is a value measure which grows ever more
relevant with every passing year. My friends are my family, and despite our differences, I would raise hell, and crush it to dust for any one of them,
and they for me.