Friday, December 9, 2011


I would like to pause for a quick commercial break in which I comment upon how grateful I am for good friendships.
Me and Alex visiting Princeton

Yesterday's post talked about the insights I gained from a conversation with Joey. His moving to DC is really one of the best things that's ever happened to me. There are obvious reasons, like his generosity in driving me places and the fun times we have together doing nerdy things like going to lectures and museums and theater performances.
Joey and I after our graduation
Mostly I'm happy he moved here because he and I are lucky enough to have an Aristotelian friendship of virtue, which primarily manifests itself in really long conversations about exceptionally random subjects. Recently I sent Joey this article, which we are both absolutely obsessed with, and the following quote from it seemed to perfectly describe our friendship:

Introspection means talking to yourself, and one of the best ways of talking to yourself is by talking to another person. One other person you can trust, one other person to whom you can unfold your soul. One other person you feel safe enough with to allow you to acknowledge things—to acknowledge things to yourself—that you otherwise can’t. Doubts you aren’t supposed to have, questions you aren’t supposed to ask. Feelings or opinions that would get you laughed at by the group or reprimanded by the authorities. 

Joey, Sam and Me
This is what we call thinking out loud, discovering what you believe in the course of articulating it. But it takes just as much time and just as much patience as solitude in the strict sense. And our new electronic world has disrupted it just as violently. Instead of having one or two true friends that we can sit and talk to for three hours at a time, we have 968 “friends” that we never actually talk to; instead we just bounce one-line messages off them a hundred times a day. This is not friendship, this is distraction.
Joey is definitely not the only person like that in my life. In the past week alone, I've had similarly long, excellent conversations with Serena, Laura L. and Frank. There are many other friends like this in my life, people I met at Notre Dame or in high school or through ISI or just through random places.

Emily, Laura L. and Me
But Joey in particular has helped me keep the spirit of PLS with me after college. Through discussions with Joey, I've clarified my own positions and views. I've grown as a person. I've gained some of my greatest insights.

I'm sorry if this is making people jealous. I don't want to do that at all. I just think it's truly amazing that I'm done with college but I still get to learn, and think, and contemplate and philosophize every single day, and I'm so grateful to have a friend here in DC who will philosophize right along with me.

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