This is another one of the Maxims that would seem at first glance to be self-evident. However, if it were just as easy as simple kindness to friends I feel that it would not have been necessary for it to be inscribed on the portico to Apollo’s temple. This Maxims is one that requires a multi-pronged approach. First, one must determine who is and who is not a friend in the meaning of this aphorism. And then, once we have determined that, we need to also determine what kindness really means.
I have discussed friendship before in other blogs in this series and that it is actually rarer than we would think in this world of social-media “friends” lists. Because of this actual rarity, kindness to friends becomes even more important.
The question we need to explore now is: What is Kindness? Is it just being “nice” to someone? I say not as sometimes it is kinder to be honest with our friends than merely nice to them. Kindness is found in saying the truth to our friends (as diplomatically as possible while making sure they understand), in being an ear when they are having problems and suggesting ways for them to deal with the problems, in helping them when they need help even before we are asked at times, and in loyalty. Being kind to our friends means that we treat them as we want to be treated by them, having what we truly need instead of always what we say is “nice” behavior