Friendship, according to Seneca’s Letter 48

I’m restarting my series of posts about Seneca’s letters to a young friend.

I did maybe 13 a while back but there are 100 more.

So here we go:


In this one he is hassling the young fellow Lucilius for raising some overly technical matters that don’t have much cash value.

But here is something nice in the passage above. Friendship is a deal. “Friendship produces a partnership in all our interests.”

So you can like someone that isn’t a friend. They may not have made the required commitment to you, even if you feel you have to them.

By this standard — there are fewer friends than “people you know”.

And for those friends you have you must consider them much more than a contact or someone to make an introduction.

For my part, if you know me, I consider you a friend. I’m ready to be at your service. I’ll tell you if the ask is out of proportion to the strength of our friendship. I like to make that the basic offering proposition and hope that it pays dividends.