Every day, we interact and communicate with other people in some shape or form. From the moment when we wake up and head to class or work and say "Good morning!" to the moment when we end our nights heading to bed or pulling all-nighters and say "Good Night!," we talk, laugh, study, party, and sleep together. The last one might sound somewhat edgy, but all of them are true — we are social creatures, and we always have been. As social creatures, we develop relationships with each other.
Naturally, some people might treat others as enemies if the interactions between them are very hostile and negative. On the other hand, if the experiences between two people are positive and warm, then they become acquaintances and possibly friends. For those who do become friends, more time and effort is put into maintaining those relationships. In order for you to forge strong, supportive relationships, how much time and effort should you put into them? In a sense, what are the criteria for making friends?
Friends are some of the most treasured things you can have in your life. I don't think I should have to go over the reasons why you should have friends, but some benefits include better emotional, mental, and physical support; a greater ability to regard one's life with more value and purpose; and even health benefits, depending on what kind of friends you have. Some people, unfortunately, make friends only as a method for fulfilling their desires. After fulfilling such immoral and despicable desires, they discard the friendship, ready to do the same to another unsuspecting person. An example would be a person who only wants to have a one-night stand with an attractive or handsome individual, and in order to accomplish that, they pose as a "friend" toward the target person. I hear about these problems through friends. In response to this, I ask a question: What is the price for a relationship?
It sounds like an easy question to answer. "I would never give up my relationship with my best friend," most people would say. However, this can be a lot more complicated. For example, such a question could be worded as "What would you give up to create a relationship between you and this person?" or "What is this person worth to you?" If a person you cared about completely forgot his or her life interaction with you, would you try to re-establish the relationship again? Would you attempt it again, knowing it might fail, and it would require a lot of time and effort to re-create your friendship? Or, would you forgo it, and create a relationship with someone else?
The prior example of a person satisfying his or her desires at the cost of a relationship tests you the same way, in the sense of pitting your personal desires versus your relationship with the person you care about. Ignoring the person who had forgotten about you would be equivalent to fulfilling your personal desires at the cost of the relationship, while still trying to re-kindle the relationship would be equivalent to putting the relationship at the forefront of your priorities, even above your own person goals. However, some people would say that it's all right to ignore the person and find another relationship — after all, it would be too much effort to recreate it. You might have better luck going with another person, since success might not be guaranteed. To those who say that — you never really cared enough about that person at all.
You only get what you put into a relationship; putting little to nothing into it results in you getting the same out of it. For those only trying to make friends with others just to have one-night stands — shame on you. You poison the purpose of what a friendship should be — a connection between two people who value each other as human beings who deserve respect and honor.
Sure, this might be a college campus, but that doesn't make it any better. That just shows that you approve the status quo and can't think for yourself. If you don't view another person as a being that deserves honesty, support and respect, you need to reevaluate your views on life.
— Jan Urbano is a junior in biochemistry and molecular biology. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.