How is the word friendship lived and defined in our culture today?
The meaning has changed with time, just like so many other word meanings that have grown, shifted, and evolved during the years of speaking. Common usage commonly replaces original meaning. The current definition for the word, friendship, according to Dictionary.com is:
1. The state of being a friend
2. A friendly relation or intimacy
3. Friendly feeling or disposition
And yet, friendship, is often a word used commonly to mean acquaintance or business associate. The definition uses the word to define and creates a distance and ambiguity between the use of the word and the emotions it evokes. The word will have a different meaning to the 5-year-old child talking about a friend in class and the 80-year-old war veteran talking about a friend in combat.
If we look at the synonyms for friendship another thread of understanding emerges to give us an accurate understanding of its meaning: harmony, accord, understanding, and rapport. Friendship, then, is the state of being in harmony and accord with another or the relationship of rapport and understanding with another. How often do we live that with the people we call friends?