The Valpo Core Reader


Eric Gutierrez

Document Type

Love and Friendship Essay

Publication Date



When it comes to love, most people think they have it figured out. The immediate thought that comes to mind whenever that infamous four-letter word is mentioned is that of romance or passion. But as the connotation for love is wholly correct in terms of reflecting part of its denotation, the popular meaning oftentimes does little justice for its broader significance. As eloquently stated by Martin Luther King Jr. in his "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence," love is best represented in the forms eros, philia, and agape, representing, respectively, romantic love, a reciprocal love between friends, and an unconditional love for all mankind. The society we inhabit acknowledges eros; that fact is not in dispute. Can it be possible, though, to expand the popular idea of love to include love for our family, for our friends, or even complete strangers? The love represented by agape is a love all should strive to feel, but before achieving such an ideal, it is necessary to begin with and understand philia. As a person matures and ages, it is absolutely necessary for them to discover that friend who embodies their inner voice--a friend who can be their complete equivalent or delightful opposite and still be the perfect complement to share in the joys of life.