(A chapter in which I find out that you only know the true nature of a friendship when conflict occurs and I find solace in a cup of coffee)
~ I was sitting at coffee a while back when I received a message from someone who claimed to be my friend. The message involved them making up lies and dropping the F-bomb at me.
The person clearly allowed their emotions (i.e. feelings) to drive their behavior, which is a phenomena that plagues Western Culture. You would think that after hundreds of years of post-Enlightenment thinking and the age of rationalism, grown men and women would have progressed beyond allowing their feelings to dictate their behavior. Sadly, logic, rational thought, and sound reasoning are skills possessed by only a few people in Western Society, and the majority of people are nothing more than little children dressed up as grown ups.
People call themselves our friends, but my Uncle Bob used to tell me “you only know someone’s true self when conflict occurs”; our true friends may make mistakes, but our true friends will not allow their feelings to lead them to charging at us like a raging bull on steroids.
Friendship is a precious commodity. It is why so many people hang out at coffee shops; such public meeting places are the last bastion of true community in Western Society. I was talking to a coffee shop dude the other day whose case worker encouraged him to start hanging out at coffee shops to find a deeper level of community. That was seven years ago and he now has daily interactions with hundreds of people. He is one of the most popular people at the coffee shop he hangs out at, yet seven years ago he believed he was nothing more than a lonely introvert, hanging out at home all day, depressed and sad.
The awful academic community creates labels for people that define them and destroy their lives. Psychologists tell people “you are an introvert” as though that is some type of universal truth. “Introvert”, “Extrovert” and other such damnable labels do not help people, but instead they condemn people to an existence in which they become trapped in the box of our depressed society.
There was a time when liberal arts education was truly liberal in the classical sense. It was a period of history when the academic community existed to help expand the thinking and minds of young adults. Western education in our day and age (with a few exceptions) has all but destroyed liberal arts education. Instead we have erected a society based on relativism and positivism which has left people feeling sad, depressed, lonely, and filled with a sense of despair and hopelessness.
Relativism led the person who said they were my friend to cuss me out. Their thinking is not based on rational thought and sensible dialogue, but instead is plagued by emotive responses that dictates their behavior like a child. True friends want to hear our side to the story. True friends remain our friends no matter the conflict that occurs.
Life is very much like a cup of coffee. Coffee is good while it is hot, but as it cools down the chemical composition of the coffee breaks down and the drink becomes very bitter. In order for friendships to remain strong, they must not be allowed to break down by the winds of feeling and emotions, for those winds if not prevented, will cool the relationship down until bitterness overwhelms the senses.