When people live far away from each other their friendship dies (essay) - Kiedy ludzie mieszkają daleko od siebie, ich przyjaźń się kończy (esej)
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What is essential in friendship? What causes that we make friends with certain people and why do some friendships die? It is commonly thought that we search for persons who are similar to us. We spend our free time with those who share the same beliefs and take interest in the same things as we do. It takes time, though, till we can call somebody a friend. We may accompany each other, but we can still be only acquaintances.
One needs to experience many different situations to know, if a bond that is between certain two people can be regarded as friendship. Only when you are sure that you can count on the other person and that you can fully trust them, you know that this is not a casual relationship. In friendship there is undoubtedly a very strong feeling involved or maybe even a mix of them. Thus, it may seem that real friendship should last forever. How does it look in reality? What about a situation when friends have to live far away from each other? Does it affect the relationship? Does their friendship die?
It can be easily proven that our bonds mostly loosen when we spend our lives in different places, distant cities or countries. Many students have such experiences. Almost everybody has a friend or two while attending secondary school. On living their home town it turns out that we do not contact our former friends and we do not find it unpleasant. It often does not take much time to realize that something has changed and the absence of the other person leads to the death of two people’s friendship.
However, it is high time I pointed out that we in Poland tend to abuse the words 'friend' and 'friendship'. It is true that relationships mentioned above mostly do not survive but we should not consider them in terms of friendship. If it takes so little time to weaken and finally finish them, they ought to be called acquaintances.
When it comes to a real friendship, it is not so easy to forget about the other person. I think that there are less and less such strong relationships, maybe that is why I associate this term mostly with my grandparents’ generation. I know people, now in their seventies and eighties, who could tell wonderful stories about real friendships, which last, even though friends are far away.
One of them is my grandfather. During World War II he served in the Polish Army, along with his former classmate, Antoni. They both fought against the Nazi’s in 1939. After being defeated, they joined Armia Krajowa, becoming guerrillas. They were best friends before the war and all they experienced wearing a uniform tightened the bond between them.
As a result, even though Antoni, afraid of being persecuted, was forced to leave Poland after the war, they stayed in touch till Antoni’s death in 2004. At first, they wrote letters to each other and when it became possible, Antoni came back to Poland. They could meet after fifty years and they both seemed to be very touched. Watching them, I was sure that I could see people who were still friends.
Therefore, I would not say that it is impossible to be friends at a distance. This is one of the factors that lets us make a distinction between acquaintances and friendships. Real friends are ones despite living in different places. However, I need to thank my grandfather – if not him and Antoni, I could think the other way.
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