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Ŕ Bout de Souffle
Out of Breath
On "On Friendship"
267
Michel de Montaigne goes on about the sanctity of a friendship so true that both parts share one will; a friendship with which he was so used to being one of two that without his counterpart he felt but a half. He also says that this true friendship can only be shared with one person because the self should be given up so completely that there is nothing left to give to another. The reason that I have a hard time subscribing to this is that I do not feel there is a finite amount of love or friendship to be handed out; that is to say, one would run out of friendliness after giving out twenty-five percent to each of four friends, or in Michel’s case, one-hundred percent to one friend. I feel friendship is relative to only each individual acquaintance and should not be restricted or limited based on prior engagement to others. If the former idea were the case, it would certainly be a rarer occurrence for one to take a better liking to a new friend, spontaneous or gradual as it may be, when in fact this happens quite naturally and frequently with most people, especially in adolescence. Why should great friendship be exclusive to only one other person? Eudamidas seemed to have the right idea by splitting his will between Charixenus and Aretheus, who were probably his two best friends and, regardless of whether it was Charixenus or Aretheus that died, either would have honored his good friend’s will. Michel asks rhetorically which of two friends simultaneously asked a favor would receive priority to make the case that there should be one friendship that overrules all others, but this can easily be decided by granting favors in an alternating fashion, a random choice, or any other way that one could determine which friend to help. The notion that only one friend should take priority seems somewhat limiting to a characteristic of human nature that I feel should be shared infinitely.
2 Comments.


Well if it was a very shy person or someone very mean they might have a limited amount of love or friendship... but then again that's just my view.
» randomjunk on 2006-09-24 08:34:42

I believe that's a limiter on either scenario, though.
» Bartholomew on 2006-09-25 05:58:17

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