1. Cosmos
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    Cosmos Contributing Member

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    How far would you go for a friend?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Cosmos, Apr 30, 2010.

    I’ve always been puzzled by this one, and I’d like to know what people thought of it: how far would you go to support your friend? What if your friend told a lie? Would you support them in said lie? What if they stole something? Beat someone up? Cheated on someone? Committed a felony? Murdered someone? What, if anything, would stop you from supporting them?

    To me anything unconditional is blind. People can change or be someone you never thought them to be. A guy who is nice to you but an a-hole to the waiter is not a nice guy, IMO. I can forgive smaller indiscretions, so long as they admitted it, but I have no forgiveness for a friend who seriously harms another person willing, happily and/or repeatedly.

    By ignoring your friend’s wrongdoing you not only are a bad person to the person whose being mistreated, you’re also betraying your own friend by not stopping them before they become someone who’s jailed. And you even betray yourself by accepting friendship from a person not worthy of it. Also consider that while this person might only be cruel to someone you don’t know what makes you think that that will remain civil to you? That one day they won’t turn on you too?

    I’ve seen so many cases where people remain loyal to people who do things they admit disgust them. Not simple harmless things…things that involve sheer vindictiveness and cruelty to another human being. If this were done by someone other than their friend they’d quickly denounce the person, but they turn a blind eye when it’s their friend. It’s like the moment they become a friend that person no longer had to abide by laws, civil or moral.

    In the end, to me, holding one’s self to a standard of principles is more important that having a gaggle of disreputable friends. I’d rather be a loner than the friend of a murderer.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You have given many different situations of far ranging extremes.

    But, I can tell you that I don't have many friends because I am a bit strict these days in what I do and do not accept.

    My boyfriend has a friend, a best friend, who isn't really alive. He walks and talks and everything. I mean that he is null in the universe because he can't admit to his family that he is gay and live a real life. He says he keeps them in the dark out of respect for them. I have never said anything to him, but I do not think the million little lies one has to tell in order to hide like that to be very respectful to anyone at all. My boyfriend puts up with it. I don't. It bothers me and falls outside of what I think of as Ok. My boyfriend who grew up here sees it in a different way because he is part of this culture where fellahs younger than my 40 years who are gay still regularly get married, and have kids in order to satisfy an obligation they feel to the families they were born into only to get divorced later in order to "live their lives" regardless of the harm they have caused to wives and children who thought their family was one thing only to find it is another.

    It is a corrupt cycle of complying with societal expectations via a process of lies and deceptions to satisfy a framed concept of giving respect... by lying.

    Do you see how that last sentence makes no sense at all?

    Now, why did I tell you that whole long, seemingly non sequitur story?

    Because my boyfriend sees the whole thing completely differently than I do. He has a different point of view because to him the situation that I find deplorable and even contemptible is to him, understandable. His frame of reference is different than mine. not wrong, just different.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    I’ve always been puzzled by this one, and I’d like to know what people thought of it: how far would you go to support your friend? What if your friend told a lie? Would you support them in said lie?

    ...NO!... a true friend wouldn't ask you to do so... only a 'user' would... and that's not a friend...

    ...same answer to all of those...

    ...'supporting someone' is not the same as taking part in their immoral or illegal actions, by lying for them, or helping them do it... you can give 'loving support' by just standing by them in their time of trouble, while not aiding or abetting their wrongdoing...

    ...i wouldn't aid or abet, but would still provide the friend with my love and concern... would help in any way i could, while not approving of their action and not becoming an accomplice in any way...
     
  4. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's an interesting question.

    You're using the example of a friend here to start the debate, but why stop there? It could be your brother, your husband, your son; in fact, anyone at all. And the calm rationale that you can discuss it with here would be replaced by far more compelling emotional issues in real life.

    This reminds me of that classic Bruce Springsteen song "Highway Patrolman", where a cop is chasing a car late at night being driven by someone who has committed a serious assault, only to discover during the chase that the man in the other car is his brother. The cop eventually stops and lets the other car get away when he sees the sign for the Canadian border and watches his brother disappear into the distance. As Bruce puts it - "Man don't look after his family, he ain't no friend of mine..."

    It all really depends on the crime, doesn't it? If it was a friend, it would take a lot of persuading before I'd cover for him if it was serious. But if it was my girlfriend, who is the mother of my three little children, or my teenage son, who is possibly my best friend in any case, then the strong ties would put me in a very difficult situation.

    And it's not a question of being a law-abiding citizen either. I actually was a police officer for twenty years.
     
  5. RedRaven
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    RedRaven Active Member

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    I would never put my friends in that predicament. If I have made bad judgment calls, or taken the wrong path in life, I won't ask of my friends to join me in whatever I've done wrong.
    It wouldn't be much of a friendship if you ask stuff like that, and if I couldn't tolerate them trying to make me do the right thing, I wouldn't be much of a friend of theirs either.

    Friendship is being there through thick and thin, not bailing them out whenever the situation gets tricky.
    It's sometimes better for someone to mess up and learn of it, then always trying to save them.

    As for myself, if a friend would ask me such thing, I would help where I can, within my moral and legal boundaries. If I can't, it would break my heart, but I would try to do the right thing. If they are good friends, they will forgive you, since they have put themselves in trouble, not you.

    I don't know what I would do if it were to be my child, since I don't have kids yet, and I do realise that the bond you have with your kids, might be stronger than common sense.
    But in the end, if my child would mess up, she/he needs to learn from his/her mistake and how can that happen, if I would take that responsibility away.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is such a sad and difficult situation to deal with that you just described well... And what happens when you are the good (female) friend of the groom's boyfriend, and then the bride is so happy to be friends with you? Then she decides it's fun to go round in a foursome. Do you drop a hint to her? Do you decide it's none of your business if she is so incredibly blind to the obvious? How do your feelings change toward the friend who is basically encouraging the newly-married man to cheat on his wife with him? Yet you know the depth of feeling between them and how long they were together, and the amount of stress and pressure the guy was under to get married in the first place... aagh!

    Actually, time resolved this issue, but it was a close call for a while. I remember suspending judgment for a few months was necessary. I'm glad our friendship survived intact, but I don't think I could have continued being friends if he'd kept on seeing the guy, it made me feel like an accomplice...
     
  7. Meliha
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    Meliha Member

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    As someone already pointed out, a friend or anyone who loves/respects you wouldn't ask you to go against your principles - so, anyone who does is no friend of mine and I see no reason to treat them as a friend if they don't treat me as one.

    Some people think friendship is a one way street, or you should do for them whatever they'd be prepared to do for you; and the really wierd ones think you should do for them even more then they would ever do for you. I prefer to have fewer friends, but real friends; then many I can't trust, depend on, be proud to have met.
     
  8. The Bard of Wigan
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    The Bard of Wigan Contributing Member

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    I'd go all the way if she is good looking enough.
     
  9. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hope you're not being serious.

    Personally, I don't think I can say how far I would go for someone until the time comes. Certain things I would just say 'no' straightaway to no matter what, but then again, it depends how much I love them. When you love someone so much, either romantically or friendship wise, you're willing to ignore the bad parts in them and just remember the good things. But yeah, I really don't know how far I'd go.
     
  10. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    He's quite clearly joking.
     
  11. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wasn't sure if he was or not.. :p
     

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