This year has just been exhausting.
It’s been great in many ways, but also just draining. And here’s what I’m most tired of: rules.
Growing up, I admit I was a bit of a brown-noser in school. I totally followed all the rules, etc. etc. When I wrote my lil honor code essay for college I meant every word of it, and still do. I think some rules are important.
However, until recently, I had never really been acquainted with the rules of friendship. You see, to me, friendship has always been a sort of gift, a privilege, a cherry-on-top if you will. Never an “obligation,” as the word has been so bluntly put to me several times this year.
“Friendship is an obligation.”
That sentence has been ringing in my ears the past several months and has really made me analyze what that obligation could be exactly…
I mean, if one were to answer the enigma with something cornball like “you’re obligated to love and care for your friends” then I would have to laugh. Naturally, you should love and be kind to your friends, if they are your true friends. But “obligation” has such a negative connotation to it. It shouldn’t be a cumbersome effort to be friends with someone, and if it is, then that friendship probably is not natural.
But what if obligations do exist? And how “deep do they roll”? Like, for example, if I believe something is the truth, the true key to life, is it my obligation to share it? But, if I ever were to discover this, I would want to share it. Therefore, is it still an obligation? So we move back to the point I’ve been evading, which is: who really knows what an obligation is, and could it ever be truly objective?
If sharing a deemed truth with someone is not an obligation, but going to band practice (for example) is an obligation…then what kind of society is this anyways? And when did it occur that friendship = activities? In my opinion, there is no fine line in existence between the two; friendship and activities are two very different things. The latter can contain obligations, whereas the former can only contain the giving of oneself.
Therefore, a more relevant statement could be something like: Friendship is Giving.
Here, note the difference. Though friendship cannot = activities (another noun) it CAN equal actions, because you cannot look at something (like…for example…band practice) and say “that’s friendship right there.” But, you can look at people enjoy performing together and have the same statement be true.
Now here’s where it gets really confusing. Activities, as I stated, can hold obligations. For example, I join a horseback-riding club (which, by the way, if I ever do, someone needs to come give me a good talking to). To be in this club and to be on good terms with its members, I am obligated to a.) pay my dues and b.) come to club meetings and horseback sessions. This club, though not a #1 priority in my life, holds obligations that I am required to follow.
Friendship on the other hand, which is usually a very high priority in one’s life, holds none of these rules. How then, are we supposed to keep the pure concept of friendship in our minds when we are struggling to simply make sure we “don’t mess up” with our less significant “obligations.” If it’s not something we’re anxious about (or keep a word pad skedj about…), how can we keep it off the backburner?
Well, my friends, as far as I can see it, the solution is this: bend the rules.