|"Today is for the championship." ...||Breakthrough Racing|
Traditionally a friend is someone I've known for a long time, someone I've become comfortable with over time. It's a default: the longer I know you, the chances are I'll become more comfortable around you. There's certainly a degree of comfort in friendship.
On closer inspection I notice while comfort is often present in friendship, it may not be a requirement for Friend. When Friend presences, comfort may come along for the ride simply as a hitchhiker. That is to say, around Friend I may be willing to "go to" places in our conversations which aren't always comfortable for me, inspired to go there, to "push past" ie to break through, by what the presence of Friend makes possible. In other words, the lack of or even the absence of comfort isn't mutually exclusive with the experience of Friend. In fact, discomfort may actually be a component.
Affinity, too, is a quality often associated with friendship. Eventually, after knowing someone for long enough, affinity shows up - it's no longer in question. Like the birth of a child from nothing, soon affinity is tangible beyond doubt. The questions, however, remain: is affinity a requirement for Friend? Is comfort a requirement for Friend?
Another quality (indeed, another component) of friendship is trust. For me, the whole issue of trust, what it takes for me to trust, what's required of me to be trustworthy, gets as close to the bone of what it is to be a human being as any other issue, perhaps even closer. Traditionally trust is earned over time. Now consider this: who's responsible for your trust if you wait to see if I'm trustworthy over time before you grant me your trust? If you wait to see if I'm trustworthy over time before you grant me your trust, you grant me your trust because I've proved I'm trustworthy. In this case, who's responsible for your trust? On the other hand, who's responsible for your trust if at the outset of our new friendship, you grant me your trust ... just ... like ... that ... no questions asked? In this situation, you grant me your trust because you grant me your trust. Who's responsible for your trust now? The answers to these two "who's responsible for your trust?" questions asked in different scenarios alter traditional views of what trust is and what trust isn't.
When my friend says the words "I trust you" to me, they accompany a gift he's giving me. He's saying "Here! This is for you.". It's got no strings attached. He gives his trust unconditionally. His trust isn't an acknowledgement that I've passed the examination, that I've earned the BT degree (Bachelor of Trust) and am now trained and qualified to be trusted. With him, it's the other way around: first he trusts me then in the space of his trust, I discover I'm trusted - ergo, I become trustworthy.
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