Milan Kundera on Friendship

Flavio Musa de Freitas Guimarães
2 min readJun 19, 2022


Translation of the post by Christian Bittencourt

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Milan Kundera, Czech writer, wrote in his latest book, The Identity, that friendship is indispensable for the proper functioning of memory and for the integrity of the self. He calls his friends witnesses of the past and says that they are our mirror, that through them we can look at ourselves.

He goes further: he says that all friendship is an alliance against adversity, an alliance without which human beings would be disarmed against their enemies. Recent friends are slow to perceive this alliance, they still do not value what is being built. They are friendships untested by time, it is not known whether they will weather the storms solidly or whether they will be swept away in a summer rain. We’ll see.

A friend doesn’t just split gasoline: he splits memories, crying spells, and experiences. Splits the guilt, splits secrets.

A friend doesn’t just lend the board. He lends the verb, lends the shoulder, lends the time, lends the heat and the jacket.

A friend does not recommend just one disc. He recommends caution, recommends a job, recommends a country.

A friend doesn’t just give you a ride to the party. He takes you to his world and gets to know yours.

A friend doesn’t just pass glue. He spends a hug with you, spends New Year’s Eve with you.

A friend doesn’t just walk in the mall. He walks in silence in pain, enters the field with you, and leaves failure by your side.

A friend doesn’t just hold the bar. He holds the hand, the absence, holds a confession, holds the jolt, the swearing, holds the elevator.

Two dozen friends like that no one has.”

May life and friends teach us to take care of each other, more and more and always!



Flavio Musa de Freitas Guimarães

Already watching the eighty-eight turn of the Earth in curtsy around its King, I’m an engineer that became a writer, happy, in perfect health, body and mind.