(This week’s post is a day late due to an unforeseen cold that resulted in a much needed Studio Ghibli marathon.)
Friendship is a very interesting subject for me. Maybe because it’s been one of my greatest struggles in life, or maybe it’s because I’m a writer who adores character development. Whatever the reason, through writing, watching anime, and observing why friendships end, I have come to form some very interesting opinions on friendship.
Friendship is something that I think has to do with a little spiritual battle for me since it’s such an important thing for me. I crave deep, real relationships, and I’m not easily socially satisfied. In Durarara!!, I witnessed this trio of friends delight in each other’s company, but struggle to trust one another with their biggest secrets. They feared their secrets would scare each other off resulting in mass miscommunication and hurt feeling to say the least.
It’s often hard for me to develop friendships, because I’ve encountered some very immature people who have betrayed my trust. Even as extroverted and loud as I am, I’m still pessimistic and skeptical of people who want to befriend me because of all those failed relationships of my past. This is the same fear that exists in Mikado, and Masaomi bust especially Anri who watched her close friend slip away into a boy’s arms.
The idea of the “best friend” that society has painted is someone you tell all of your secrets to. I see two people who could fall under this category. There are people who will listen to you’re problems, and then there are people you can vent to. I believe there is a difference between the two, because finding that special person to vent to means you’ve found a person who will interpret the information you give accurately. This usually means the person knows you very well, but not necessarily. People who are very gifted in helping me vent, have a similar worldview to me and are often “wired” similarly. When you talk about deep subjects to a person, you want them to have an appropriate reaction, not overreacting or underwhelming. The person who can help you heal by being an appropriate listener is different from a person who is simply willing to listen to you.
I find Celty to be a wonderful example of friendship that’s willing to be more then a listening ear. Even thought she can’t speak vocally, she seams to always be there when Anri needs to talk. She’s a person who understands Anri as a supernatural figure herself, so her reaction to Anri’s situation is appropriate and encouraging for her. Celty also goes out of her way to be there physically for Anri to help her fight her battles or save her from a gang.
Celty reminds me of my best friend who I had to recently move away from. We did martial arts together, so if either of us needed, we would be there to beat someone up – but that’s beside the point. This friend and I only communicate via email now, like how Celty communicates with text. This friend is the person I always go to vent to, but like Celty, she once came to rescue me when I was living alone for a short time let me stay with her for a couple days until I recovered from my crippling loneliness. I’m sure Anri wouldn’t consider Celty to be her best friend, but she sure fits the requirements of simply “being there” and acting selfless – an element of fellowship that has brought me and my friend much closer together.
Selflessness is another very important ingredient in all friendships that can easily make or break them. When you lend your friend your ear, you should also be willing to take action if the person so wishes. When Masaomi decided to act selfishly in his fear instead of saving his girl friend he destroyed the relationship they had as it could not exist until season 2. For some reason, Saki still loved him even when he was too cowardly to even visit her room. To me that’s unreasonable and not exactly healthy for anyone.
We have to remember that everyone has a natural nature to sin. Friendships are very productive for our emotional health and God encouraged us to have fellowship with others. We weren’t created to be alone forever. However, especially for someone who is naturally wired to be self-centered, friendships are used more for just convenience and as a tool to occupy oneself. Friendships should be backed up by actions as Celty demonstrates when she protects Anri.
The whole season of Durarara!! reminds me of Galatians 6:2 which states, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” This verse doesn’t say, “be everyone’s best friend” but in my interpretation, it’s asking us to be society’s definition of a “best friend” with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. As a Christian, I understand that my life is not my own, it belongs to the one who created me. The Lord asks me to bear the burdens of my brethren, and as scared I am from past friendships, it gives me joy to obey this law. Feel free to ask me why. 🙂