The Meaning of Friendship/Affection: Half-baked thoughts

I like to think about the nature of friendship. A while back, I read CS Lewis’s “The four loves” and for a long time used it as a lens to understanding relationships. Though now I have dropped the first and prefer Fulton Sheen’s three types of love, I do like the idea that some types of relationships are fundementally different to others, though not necessarily better or worse.

I’ve recently been watching a TV series. In this series, the main character is an evil manipulative murderer. However, every morning, he goes to have breakfast at this cafe of a fellow who knows nothing about him. However, he treats the cook well, pays generously, and they have a nice chat every once in a while. In one episode, the cook found a newspaper attacking the protagonist, and without looking into whether it was true or not (those reliable newspaper;), he burned it. He burned it because he was the protagonist’s friend, and he really cared for the protagonist, independent of how evil the protagonist was.

And then the thought hit me: The cook is a friend to the protagonist, even if he’s not necessarily a friend back. This implies that a friendship can be one-sided.

The first of the four

As stated in the top of this article, CS Lewis asserted four types of love, but Fulton Sheen only three. For a while (when I first wrote this post) I rejected the first of CS Lewis’s: Affection (a simple love or non-animate things or even some people). However, I have recently gone back on this idea, and this is why:

Every morning I walk to work at a ceirtain time. As I walk, I always pass a bearded guy on a bycicle going in the opposite direction and a blonde-haired lady with headphones (who I think is a librarian). Later on, I consistently see a family with three children also going the other way. Now, I never talk to these people, and I probably never will, but they nevertheless have begun to form a part of my daily routine. I have began to get used to walking past them. I think perhaps this simple feeling is what CS Lewis was expressing with the first of his four “loves”.

So… what do you think is the true meaning of friendship or affection?


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