We come to the end of Joseph Epstein, Friendship: An Expose. It’s been a good book to provoke thinking about friendship, and of course his prose is excellent. He’s not as funny here as he in his essays, which of his writings I prefer. Chp. 19 deals the cards of the “rules” of friendship, rules that bring to the surface the “art” of friendship.
What do you think of his rules?
1. Not all friendships have to be deepened.
2. Friendships oughtn’t to be consist mainly of sharing weaknesses and troubles.
3. Look beyond opinions to find the person’s point of view.
4. Reassess the pleasures of acquaintanceships.
5. Take friends as they are.
6. Know what you want, need, expect, and are willing to give to others in friendships.
7. Never idealize a friend.
Again, our next book — and I’ve had no response (sign of a bad choice?) — is W. Berry’s Citzenship Papers. I intend to use this Friday is for Friends readings for reflecting on personal, humane issues.