But, do we really identify ourselves as the person we have become when we look at the mirror? Do we take the time to see who we are, or do we only do it unconsciously like most of the things we do? Estefani Serna
Since the moment of our birth, we are conditioned by many programs within our minds that will influence our lives, our behavior, desires, and ideas whether we want it or not.
Genetics, our parents, the environment, culture, economy, and society will define who we will be in the future. Without being aware of this, we absorb all this influence and make it ours, thinking that all that belongs to us is part of our true essence.
Neuroscience describes our minds like a supercomputer operated by a series of programs that have been memorized since the day we are born. Such programs are known as our way of thinking, decision-making, likes, biases, etc.
Our brains are programmed with all this information about us, so are the concepts about the world around us that society presents to us as natural and unquestionable.
Money, friendship, family, love, death; analyzing these concepts causes the pillars where we are standing to collapse, reeling over the weight imposed on it by society, since they have no sure basis to rest.
We take so many things for granted in our lives because most of the time we go around the world on autopilot, in a world obsessed with speed. But as philosophy teaches us that there is no reason to question, we must analyze the situation, lift the carpet and prepare to see a lot of grime.
For example, a concept like friendship, who would question something as natural as friendship in their right mind?
People think it is obvious what a friend is. How are you going to question something like friendship? Don’t fuck with me. It is impossible to question this pure and beautiful concept.
Now, I’m telling you, let’s get out of our bubble for a moment and take a few minutes of our quick routine to analyze this term.
FRIENDSHIP AS A BOND OF POWER
Friendship and power, what the fuck?
You would say these words are not related. There are already enough places with political influence to add more politics where it is not necessary. Keep on reading.
Aristotle said that human beings are social beings by nature; this explains the human being’s need to relate to other individuals. This leads us to friendship, a word whose misuse has made it lose almost all of its meaning.
Let’s discuss this situation. If you have a friend that can always count on you at the worst
moments, a friend who received a lot of favors from you and also your kindness, and then
suddenly you needed something from that friend and you did not receive the same, would
you get mad at that friend?: “Of course, my friend would do the same I do for him/her”.
I will tell you something, in this way of thinking we will end up turning friendship into an exchange of services. I mean, “friendship” is only a utility that I use for a purpose, something like an economic exchange. You give me something, and I will give it back to you.
In practice, friendship is posed as a bond of power over others, even if we are not aware of it. When we want to take control of the other person and demand what we want, we exercise a bond of power over them. So, if we start a friendship only thinking of ourselves, could it really be called friendship?
We destroy the concept of friendship by making it turn around ourselves. By not respecting the other and just listening to our dear ego, we are only nullified to the other person. Is friendship not supposed to love and seek the benefit of the other person?
Aristotle classifies in his work “Nicomachean Ethics” friendship into three types:
- FRIEND BY UTILITY: It is given between merchants, people who make an exchange of services.
- FRIENDSHIP FOR PLEASURE: We only interact with other people when we want some fun or are interested in what the other person can give us.
- FRIENDSHIP BY VIRTUE: Considered as the true friendship. virtuous people indulge in appreciating other people and selflessly seek their perfection, not for what the other can give us back, but for what the other is.
After reading this friendship classification, we already know the most common types of friendship among people. By reflecting our needs in the other person, we only nullify them and let our ego blind us.
Thinking that friendship can grow into a political situation is something that perhaps gives us goosebumps and also something we reject the first time. If we look at our relationships and how we interact with other people, it is no longer a crazy idea, we start to see many things that we don’t want to see.
Are we disinterested in our bond with the other person, or are we just expecting to get something back? Do we ever stop thinking only about ourselves and look at the other person, for what the other person is and not for what we receive from him/her?
I will leave you this little reflection. To Aristotle, the likeness and reciprocity between individuals are fundamental in friendship, but Nietzsche debates this: if friendship is based on likeness, who resembles whom?
THE SPEED IN WHICH WE LIVE
Philosophy makes us see that the problems we currently have are the same as usual, it is just that every issue is based on their time.
Most of the time, we lock ourselves in the ego, in ourselves, which profoundly affects the models of friendship we have, but of course, we don’t have time to think about anything because of the speed in which everything moves in the world.
There is no doubt that society is now more individualistic; this has changed the way we look at each other people; friendship is just a small example of how much we have to think.
We are so programmed that we do most things unconsciously, with such a hasty world, a world obsessed with speed is ironic that we are only looking to buy the latest fashionable smartphone that organizes our lives or acquire the new turbo vacuum that will leave our house as the cleanest of the block.
The speed at which everything moves is astonishing, but unfortunately, we spend the days asleep, we do not get involved, we are not present, and we rarely stop thinking and analyzing the world where we live.
It is fair and necessary to examine from time to time on which foundations we are standing and since there is no sure basis to lean on, we will certainly fall off sometimes. But we can’t keep on autopilot, letting them think everything about us, letting society impose their evident naturalness.