Monday, April 22, 2024

Freedom and friendship

Anthony Esolen's "Word of the Week" is "Friend":
Cicero wrote a charming treatise on friendship, in which he says, among many other things, that a friend is someone in whose presence you can think out loud. ....

Because we are friends, and true friendship can only be founded in virtue, we delight in one another’s company, and friends don’t abandon one another when that delight is overshadowed by danger, or sadness, or misfortune, or even the threat of death. In that world, it meant a lot to call someone your friend. That’s why Jesus, who had befriended his apostles for three years, says at the Last Supper that he no longer calls them his servants, but his friends: not because of any greater love that he feels, but because he has chosen to be entirely open with them. “All that the Father has made known to me,” he says, “I make known to you.” ....

If you love someone, you do not make a bondslave of him; he is free; hence we get Welsh rhyddid, freedom, as they sing in that great fight song “Men of Harlech,” and we get Germanic freo, free. Now, if you’re really free in the company of someone, it means that you needn’t worry that your next word will cause him to leap upon the table and put a knife to your neck. .... (more)

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