The Chord of Friendship

“Those who wish for good things for their friends for their own sake are friends most of all, since they are that way for themselves and not incidentally; so the friendship of these people lasts as long as they are good, and virtue is enduring.” – Aristotle

At the age of 5 my heart was set on playing the guitar. Like most who learn this instrument we begin with making chords. A chord is a combination of three or more notes that blend harmoniously when sounded together. By way of metaphor let us compare a musical chord with friendship. For friendship to remain harmonious & beautiful, what do you suppose are the 3 notes that need to be present?

Here’s a list of items that represent some of the main aspects or features of friendship. Read it carefully, and then try to select the three that you feel are most necessary for friendship; then ask yourself why each of these items is essential for such an end. Go ahead and share your answer in the comment section below. Let’s deepen our understanding of fellowship so that we might thrive and grow!

Friends bring out the best in one another.
Friends accept each other’s shortcomings.
Friends keep us honest and true to our aims.
Friends make it easier to bear difficulties.
Friends give us courage to stand up for what we know to be true.
Friends share common values.
Friends empathize with each other.
Friends trust one another.
Friends challenge each other to grow and stretch boundaries.
Friends encourage self-reliance and personal autonomy.
Friends maintain healthy boundaries.
Friends respect differences of opinion.
Friends watch each other’s back.
Friends care for one another.

Furthermore, should you feel this list lacks some of the finer gems of friendship, by all means include them with your response. Be sure to explain why you believe such a feature is necessary for being a true friend to another human-being.


About Philosopher Muse

An explorer of volition and soul, a song under a night sky and a dream that forever yearns to be.
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17 Responses to The Chord of Friendship

  1. All of these are great aspects of friendship, but I think the ones that speak most to me are:
    Friends make it easier to bear difficulties.
    Friends respect differences of opinion.
    Friends bring out the best in one another.
    Many friends have been there to help me through difficult stretches and remind me there’s more to life than something that may be bothering me at a given time. In these contentious times, I think it’s critical to remember that we can disagree. It’s truly magical if we can find a consensus that contains part of what each of us believed were true at the start of a disagreement. And friends do help us bring out the best in ourselves and I hope I’ve helped some friends bring out the best in themselves.

  2. Dominique says:

    I’d say the mutual ability to tell the truth about ourselves / hear the truth from the other so that both can feel truly seen, accepted and loved for who they are. Trust, respect and caring for the other’s happiness is fertile ground for such friendships to grow.

  3. The traits you’ve listed are all harmonious and beautiful ones for helping friendships to thrive and grow. The ones that really stood out for me were trusting, caring and watching each other’s back.

    Furthermore, I believe in this quote or poem that, “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. And when you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.”

    • An insightful and delightful response. Was hoping someone might address the distinction – season or lifetime – for there are different chords for different kinds of relationships.

      For me ‘caring’ happens to be the foundation of the entire list. It’s like the dominate note of a scale. The ‘sol’ of the music making chord, or the ‘sun’ that lights up the way.

  4. Nora says:

    Friendship is so much more to me Jay than those chords of friendship that you spoke about. All of those thing that you wrote about as chords all have the same tone to me… tollerance and acceptance which to me should be extended to all human kind.

    My chords of friendship are:

    The ability of see into one another and understand the essense of your soul inside our body suit and understands that we are spiritual beings taking the skin suits for a human experience and wanting to help one another experience life – joy, love, fear, sadness and all of what life has to offer.

    Friendship is growing the seeds of joy and happiness while experiencing the not so good things together so our souls learn on this plane together and love is fostered and we in turn can show that love for others to experience

    Friendship is a deepened love because two souls see into one another and it is no longer about surface stuff. We enhance one another because we see the rawness and light and we are drawn to it and together we learn to trust and love. As we explore human experience and emotions our friends are the ones that no longer see the outside meat suit but the beauty of the soul that permeates.

    People come into your life for a reason, a season, and a lifetime. Friends are a part of your life time experience and others that come into your life and out of your life never to be there again are the people that are put in place so that you can experience and grow with pains of loss, lies, truths that hurl you forward and to introduce new life lessons.

    Friends (lifetime) are there to help you process those things, be support for one another and aids in creating the fertilizer in which those seeds can grow because our souls touched and understand the deeper value..

    They become family.. your chosen family and become part of your tribe and although we still march to a different beat in this world… we have others that are willing to help you march to that beat while they too work on theirs

  5. JC says:

    Well, I’m late for the party but I play the guitar and feel beholder too answer your post which I will do as soon as possible. Thanks…jc

  6. The aspects of care and support, unconditional acceptance and honesty or truth 🙂

    • Nice list Andreas, but surely you don’t mean unconditional acceptance; let’s say your son starts selling highly addictive street drugs from the basement of your home; I doubt that you would accept this practice even in part. Surely it is important to have conditions or boundaries if we are to maintain healthy relationships.

  7. JC says:

    For me music has always been about harmony amongst real people, brothers of the road, the keys to the highway, in search of the lost chord. This past year saw the death of many musicians whom I saw as fellow seekers, soul brothers in the name of love… some happy and some sad. Growing up, I had the opportunity to learn how to play the guitar and perform in many bands throughout the years. And the chords may have changed through the years from minor to major keys, augmented, sharps and flats but it was still the multiplicity of chords that possessed the dimension we gave passage to.

    Below is the address to a post I wrote which pretty much personified my feelings and thoughts on friendship and chords and how they affected my life.

  8. BrittnyLee says:

    This is very true ! Beautiful post!!!!

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