Vatican Saying 39

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Template:Vatican Saying 39


This Saying spells out the delicate balance that defines true friendship: neither mercenary self-interest, nor sacrificial self-denial. Reciprocally, one should neither consider a true friend someone who always asks for something "in return" for his friendship, nor should one categorically deny one's friends whatever assistance one might be able to lend them.

Relating to Vatican Saying 23, this text confirms that friendship does in fact begin with the hope of some "utility", however noble and dignified that sentiment may be. Despite the emotional depth a friendship may acquire over time, Epicurus always recognized that this "utilitarian" aspect of friendship is never totally extinguished.

Relating to Vatican Saying 28, this text confirms that one ought to shun both extremes: in the case of Vatican Saying 28, those who are either too eager, or too reluctant to befriend others; in the case of this Saying, those who are too focused on personal gain from their friendships, or those who would never consider offering or receiving any benefit.

Relating to Vatican Saying 34, this text corroborates that it is not only the current, ongoing benefits we enjoy thanks to our friends that matter, but specifically the hope that, should we ever call on them, our friends would be willing to help us. This is the core of Epicurus' advice: that friendship is a "dormant" interdependence built on mutual benefit.

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