Badly Done, Emma

The silence kills. The unspoken warning passively smothers. The mute friend destroys the friendship. It has been said many times that communication is the key to a healthy relationship. I am not merely talking about everyday communication or the sharing of feelings, preferences, and desires, but about the type of communication that stands up and tells the truth. Speaking up against a friend will be very likely necessary at least once in any friendship. People are so fickle, so quick to make self-gratifying decisions that lead them where they do not want to go. People are often blind to their own shortcomings and convince themselves that they are better than they are. A true friend breaks the shiny illusion of perfection with the hard cutting blade of truth. A faithless friend would stand aside and watch their dear one destroy themselves, only a true friend will say the offensive, but vital words, “you are wrong”. A true friend risks the friendship for the sake of the friend. They would rather temporarily lose favor with the person they cherish than see them continue in a harmful pattern. Emma’s true friend is Mr. Knightley, who says to Emma “I cannot see you acting wrong, without a remonstrance…It was badly done, indeed”.  He is an active friend and a real man who does not feebly submit to Emma or give up on her in disgust. He is not interested in flattering Emma or in shielding her from her own ugliness. He says “This is not pleasant to you, Emma and it is very far from pleasant to me; but I must, I will, I will tell you truths while I can; satisfied with proving myself your friend by very faithful counsel, and trusting that you will some time or other do me greater justice than you can do now.” If you want someone like Mr. Knightley in your life, treat your friends as you would be treated, and tell them when they have done badly.

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