During college and this past January, I attended conferences hosted by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). At one of these conferences, they discussed the value in finding virtuous friends.
The way that I personally see virtuous friends is that they are willing to lift each other up. To be there for each other no matter what. To make time in their busy schedules to be there for each other. To lead each other to God. To lead them to hope and love. To help them build their relationship with God.
FOCUS has said something along the lines that to love someone is to will the good of the other. And I think that’s at the core of being a virtuous friend.
Virtuous friends don’t take advantage of each other. They don’t use each other for their own gain. They don’t use them and then drop them once their use is fulfilled.
And I think this is something our society has trouble with.
We’re taught to do whatever it takes to get ahead, doing anything to get to where we want or need to be.
But this mindset suggests that people are simply a means to an end. A resource to be used and tossed away as soon as it’s no longer useful.
But if we go on like this, we begin viewing people as objects to be used instead of the beautiful souls that they are.
And that’s why I think trying to build a virtuous friendship is something worth putting our effort into.
We change ourselves because we begin changing the way we view people. We begin seeing them as the beautiful people they are instead of things that can be used. And we begin treating people in a different light; hopefully a better one.
And as we begin to change the way we see and treat others, people will begin to notice. And in seeing our actions, maybe they’ll begin to change themselves for the better as well.
And through this change, we’ll be changing the world. Making it a place where people are seen for the good that they are instead of tools to be used.
I’ve been lucky enough to have formed a virtuous friendship fairly early in my life.
And I can tell you that it is something rare. And it takes effort on both sides. It is something that both people have to work at, making sure they aren’t taking advantage of the other.
But even though it takes effort, it’s worth it.
How can we begin to form virtuous friendships or nurture the ones we already have?
Until next time!